U.S. environmental regulators likely will delay finalizing rules to limit carbon emissions from new power plants, a measure that has been one of President Barack Obama’s top strategies to fight climate change, the Washington Post reported yesterday.
The rules were proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency nearly a year ago. They are expected to be revised to set a separate standard for coal-fired plants, as opposed to natural-gas-fired plants, the newspaper said.
The administration had been expected to tackle emissions from existing power plants, which are responsible for up to 40 percent of U.S. emissions, after finalizing the rules on new plants.
An administration official said the report was not accurate because the EPA still was working on the rule. The official did say that sifting through the massive volume of comments was time-consuming.
The EPA’s regulatory tracker said the so-called greenhouse-gas “New Source Performance Standard” for new power plants was to be finalized by the end of this month.
But Gina McCarthy, nominated to head the EPA and who was in charge of EPA rules as assistant administrator for its office for air and radiation, hinted last month that finishing the proposal might take extra time because it had received nearly 2 million comments.
McCarthy will face a Senate confirmation hearing in April, Capitol Hill sources said, and is expected to get pushback from lawmakers from states that are heavily reliant on coal.
The EPA proposal says new plants can emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour, a standard that effectively blocks construction of new coal-fired plants.
As many know, I'm not a fan of arbitrary standards that create inflexibility for meeting goals.
Why not set a price (or set a quantity) and let the market sort it out?