The EPA wants to open the door for new coal plants, but may instead dampen progress for the greenhouse gas capture technology that coal facilities will need to survive in a carbon-constrained world.

Plans the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled Dec. 6 to redo Obama-era carbon controls for new and modified coal-fired power plants would remove a requirement for new facilities to install partial carbon-capture technology. Instead, these plants would have softer limits they could meet by increasing efficiency.

The...