Posts Tagged ‘EPA’

For EPA’s Global Warming Rules, Will ‘Next Year’ Mean ‘Never’?

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

EPA’s new budget plan says the agency hopes to make critical—and controversial—decisions about its effort to regulate greenhouse gases by the end of fiscal 2015.

Specifically, the budget says the agency hopes to determine whether it should craft carbon-emissions standards for several big industrial pollution sources—notably refineries, but also pulp and paper facilities, iron and steel production, and few other categories.

But if the pledges about expanding climate rules sounds familiar to EPA-watchers, they should: The fiscal 2014 plan said the same thing about a decision on the rules, and the fact that the agency has now moved these decisions to its 2015 budget suggests that determinations in 2014 are probably not in the cards.

Now, with the clock winding down on the Obama administration, experts say it’s unclear whether EPA will craft carbon-emissions standards for any big stationary pollution sources beyond power plants—or even if it has enough time or resources left to do so.

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How the U.S. Exports Global Warming

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

The greening of American energy is both real and profound. Since President Obama took office, the nation’s solar capacity has increased more than tenfold. Wind power has more than doubled, to 60,000 megawatts – enough to power nearly 20 million homes. Thanks to aggressive new fuel-efficiency standards, the nation’s drivers are burning nearly 5 billion fewer gallons of gasoline a year than in 2008. The boom in cheap natural gas, meanwhile, has disrupted the coal industry. Coal-power generation, though still the nation’s top source of electricity, is off nearly 20 percent since 2008. More than 150 coal plants have already been shuttered, and the EPA is expected to issue regulations in June that will limit emissions from existing coal facilities. These rules should accelerate the shift to natural gas, which – fracking’s risks to groundwater aside – generates half the greenhouse pollution of coal.

But there’s a flip side to this American success story. Even as our nation is pivoting toward a more sustainable energy future, America’s oil and coal corporations are racing to position the country as the planet’s dirty-energy dealer – supplying the developing world with cut-rate, high-polluting, climate-damaging fuels. Much like tobacco companies did in the 1990s – when new taxes, regulations and rising consumer awareness undercut domestic demand – Big Carbon is turning to lucrative new markets in booming Asian economies where regulations are looser. Worse, the White House has quietly championed this dirty-energy trade.

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EPA publishes emissions rule to GOP’s dismay

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

The Environmental Protection Agency published its rule limiting carbon emissions from new power plants on Wednesday to the dismay of coal advocates and the GOP.

The proposed rule, published nearly four months after EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announced it, is a core element of President Obama’s climate change agenda.

Included in the new performance standards, the EPA pushes for new coal-fired power plants to be built with carbon capture technology, which Republicans argue is impossible since the technology isn’t ready. McCarthy says the technology is ready and is already being used.

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Wind Energy Has Dramatically Cut Global Warming Pollution In The US

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

As required by Congress, the EPA recently released annual greenhouse gas data “detailing carbon pollution emissions and trends broken down by industrial sector, greenhouse gas, geographic region, and individual facility.”

Interestingly, in 2012, coal-fired electricity generation increased while natural gas generation decreased considerably. This is counter to all the talk about the shale gas revolution (“bridge,” if you’re optimistic), including a line right in the first paragraph of the EPA press release — “The data, required to be collected annually by Congress, highlight a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions as more utilities switch to cleaner burning natural gas.”

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Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to E.P.A. Rules on Gas Emissions

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a major case challenging Environmental Protection Agency regulations of greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources like power plants. The justices declined to hear a variety of related attacks on the agency’s authority to address climate change.

The case is a sequel to Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, a 2007 decision that required the agency to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles if it found they endangered public health or welfare. Two years later, the agency made such a finding, saying that “elevated concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere” pose a danger to “current and future generations.” It set limits on emissions both from new vehicles and from stationary sources like power plants.

States and industry groups challenged the regulations on several grounds. They said the agency’s conclusions about the dangers posed by greenhouse gases were not supported by adequate evidence, that the so-called tailpipe regulations were flawed and that the agency was not authorized to regulate emissions from stationary sources.

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