With Congress unwilling to do anything about climate change (or anything about anything), climate hawks have been looking to President Obama to take executive actions that don’t need approval from Capitol Hill. A big one everyone is waiting for: greenhouse gas regulations for new power plants.
Well, don’t hold your breath. Looks like it might still be a while. From The Washington Post:
The Obama administration is leaning toward revising its landmark proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants, according to several individuals briefed on the matter, a move that would delay tougher restrictions and could anger many environmentalists.
The discussions center on the first-ever greenhouse gas regulations for power plants, which were proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency nearly a year ago. Rewriting the proposal would significantly delay any action, and might allow the agency to set a separate standard for coal-fired power plants, which are roughly twice as polluting as those fueled by natural gas.
While the move could bolster the administration’s legal justification for regulating power plants’ carbon emissions, any delay on the rules would be a blow to environmental groups and their supporters
This doesn’t bode well for the bigger move that climate hawks are really hoping for: regulations for old power plants, namely the filthy coal-fired ones that have been belching out pollution for decades longer than expected.
Environmentalists are particularly worried about finishing the standards for new power plants because they are less controversial than imposing carbon limits on the existing plants that emit 2.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year, or 40 percent of the nation’s carbon output.
The EPA hasn’t yet said whether it’ll crack down on old plants. Hey guys, keep in mind that Obama only has 1,406 days left in office …
Get Grist in your inbox