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EPA Delays Regulating GHGs of Stationary Sources

emissions-2Facing widespread opposition and several lawsuits over the endangerment finding that greenhouse gases endanger human health, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) top official announced that any regulation of greenhouse gases would be phased in gradually, reports the New York Times.

In a letter to lawmakers, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson provided a timetable for regulating greenhouse gas emissions, including plans to start targeting large facilities in early 2011, medium-sized emitters by the second half of 2011 and smaller emitters by 2016, reports the Washington Post. Jackson also made it clear that the Obama administration will move ahead with reducing GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act as required under a 2007 Supreme Court decision.

Jackson issued the letter (PDF) in response to a letter sent to her on Feb. 19 by eight U.S. Senators asking about the agency’s plans for 2010.

The eight Democratic senators, led by John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, asked Jackson to suspend any EPA regulations of stationary sources including coal-burning power plants and large industrial facilities while Congress considers comprehensive energy and climate change legislation, reports the New York Times.

Jackson also wrote that an effort led by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases would significantly impact a deal struck last year between the auto industry, the administration and several states to limit greenhouse gases from cars and light trucks, reports the Washington Post.

The EPA is also considering substantially raising the emissions thresholds in its proposed “tailoring” rule to exempt more facilities from requirements, reports the New York Times. Jackson expects the threshold for permitting will be substantially higher than the 25,000 ton limit originally proposed by the EPA between the second half of 2011 and 2013.

Environmental advocates told the New York Times the EPA was justified in declaring carbon dioxide and gases as dangerous pollutants under the Clean Air Act and was moving cautiously to regulate them.

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2 thoughts on “EPA Delays Regulating GHGs of Stationary Sources

  1. The headline of this article is very misleading. The EPA is not delaying or removing regulations on the largest emitters. Instead, this is a very reasonable timeline to implement new regulations. The big issue right now is the ambiguity of Congress with regards to all the “Green Power” and carbon reduction plans. Business is not sure where to go. They are willing to go there as many see the benefits of reducing carbon emitting energy. There is just no plan with many trying to throw the proposed plans in a tailspin. ACES has been passed by the House but (like so many things) the Senate can’t seem to get anything done. Maybe it’s time to remove the 60 vote requirement so the country can move forward.

  2. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that carbon dioxide linked to climate change, and five other greenhouse gases, are a danger to public health and welfare. Last spring, Obama’s EPA determined that the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) “endangers human health and the environment” as an “air pollutant.” Upon making this finding under the Clean Air Act, EPA must propose regulations to enforce the monitoring and reduction of CO2. These findings have opened the door for charging emitters of CO2 for their emissions. These are the bases for “cap-and-trade” legislation that will levy a carbon tax on all U.S. goods and services.

    EPA’s proposed CO2 regulations have prompted numerous business and government interests to challenge EPA findings in court, and stop the costly new carbon controls. These trials will ultimately require EPA to prove the scientific cause and effect involving manmade greenhouse gases and global warming – the theories of global warming will be put on trial. All of the fanciful warmist warnings and institutional climate change claims will be tested in open court. About twenty court challenges were filed against EPA’s “endangerment” finding before the rulemaking deadline of February 16th.

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