Tags: EPA | greenhouse | gases | coal

EPA's Plans for Existing Power Plants Vanish Into Thin Air

Tuesday, 17 Apr 2012 10:32 AM

By Richard Wagner

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The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions at existing power plants apparently have vanished into thin air, according to documents obtained by Politico.

President Barack Obama’s Office of Management and Budget on Nov. 7 reviewed the EPA’s draft to eventually regulate the gases, but now agency officials say they have no such plans.

“At a future date, EPA intends to promulgate emission guidelines for states to develop plans reducing (carbon dioxide) emissions from existing fossil-fuel-fired (electric generating units),” the draft says. The reference is among many in the draft that refer to future rules for existing power plants, according to Politico.

EPA’s revised plan was published Friday in the Federal Register. Politico compared the new version with EPA’s draft of Nov. 7, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, and found the apparent omission of impending regulations on existing plants.

On March 27, the EPA announced carbon dioxide limits for new power plants only. But Republicans accused the agency of secretly planning to expand the rule to existing power plants and said it would be the “death of coal” because additional regulations on older plants would be exceptionally expensive. They also complained that regulations on new plants also would be expensive and that consumers’ energy costs would soar as a result.

Did election-year politics play a role in the mysterious disappearance of new regulations on existing power plants? Apparently not, after the White House reviewed the EPA’s proposed rule. Now, agency officials have fallen back to a new Democratic Party line on greenhouse rules for existing plants: “No plans,” Politico reports.


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