EPA Issuing U.S. Carbon-Limits Guidance Soon, Agency Administrator Says
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will issue guidance soon that states and polluters may use to implement the agency’s new greenhouse-gas regulations, Administrator Lisa Jackson said.
The guidelines will ensure that complying with the rules “is practical and is manageable,” Jackson said today at a conference in Washington celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Clean Air Act.
The EPA is using the 1970 law to establish national limits on carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases implicated in climate change. The first phase is set to start Jan. 2. Lawmakers led by Senator Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, want to postpone EPA action, saying the rules will hurt businesses and consumers grappling with a sluggish economy.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said today that he would schedule a vote on Rockefeller’s bill “before we leave here.”
Rockefeller is “aggressively pursuing” a two-year delay of the greenhouse-gas regulations for industrial sources such as power plants because “the unelected EPA” shouldn’t get ahead of Congress, Jamie Smith, the senator’s communications director, said in an e-mail.
The American Chemistry Council and the American Petroleum Institute urged senators today to delay greenhouse-gas regulations for power plants, refineries and factories for as long as three years.
The Senate Appropriations Committee overseeing EPA’s budget should slow the agency’s regulatory action to give Congress time to find an alternate approach, the groups said in a letter to the panel.
The committee today canceled a Sept. 16 hearing to consider the agency’s budget.
Legislation to cap carbon pollution passed the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009 and then stalled in the Senate. President Barack Obama pledged to move ahead on carbon regulations through the agency should Congress fail to act.
Business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are suing the EPA over the rules, saying the agency has no authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
The law has a 40-year record of defying critics who say regulations to cut pollution damage the economy, Jackson said today. She vowed to move forward on carbon rules.
“We aren’t going to fall victim to another round of trumped-up doomsday predictions,” said Jackson, 48. “We have four decades of evidence that the choice between our environment and our economy is a false choice.”
She said one of the EPA’s guiding principles in establishing rules based on the Clean Air Act is to “set the standards that make the most sense” and not burden small businesses.
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