EPA moves to regulate smokestack greenhouse gases

October 1, 2009 By DINA CAPPIELLO , Associated Press Writer

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson speaks during the second Governors' Global Climate Summit in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009. The event is hosted by California's Arnold Schwarzenegger and chief executives of other states. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
(AP) -- Proposed regulations would require power plants, factories and refineries to reduce greenhouse gases by installing the best available technology and improving energy efficiency whenever a facility is significantly changed or built.

The Environmental Protection Agency proposal announced Wednesday applies to any industrial plant that emits at least 25,000 tons of greenhouse gases a year.

These large sources are responsible for 70 percent of the - mainly carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels - that are released in the U.S., the EPA said.

"By using the power and authority of the Clean Act, we can begin reducing emissions from the nation's largest greenhouse gas-emitting facilities without placing an undue burden on the businesses that make up the vast majority of our economy," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said. "We know the corner coffee shop is no place to look for meaningful carbon reductions."

Earlier this year, the Obama administration announced it would start developing the first-ever greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and trucks. Those regulations, which would take effect in 2010, compel the EPA to control greenhouse gases from large smokestacks as well, the agency said.

Industry groups immediately questioned the agency's argument. They charged that the EPA was skirting the law, since the Clean Air Act typically covers any facility releasing more than 250 tons a year of a recognized pollutant. That threshold would require more facilities to fall under the new regulations.

"This proposal incorrectly assumes that one industry's emissions are worse than another's," said Charles T. Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association.

Jeff Holmstead, a former top EPA official who is now a lobbyist for the energy industry, said the agency was trying to "fit a square peg into a round hole."

"Normally, it takes an act of Congress to change the words of a statute enacted by Congress, and many of us are very curious to see EPA's legal justification for today's proposal," Holmstead said.

Jackson, speaking at a news conference at a climate change summit being hosted by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, said the rule was legally defensible.

"The EPA would not propose a rule that we didn't believe ... made good legal sense," she said.

The EPA's announcement came hours after Senate Democrats unveiled legislation that would set limits on the amount of greenhouse gases from large industrial sources. The Senate bill, unlike the House-passed version, preserves the EPA's authority to regulate under the Clean Air Act.

Environmentalists said Wednesday the two efforts go hand-in-hand.

"You can't have one without the other if we're going to be successful in moving America to clean energy," said Emily Figdor, director of the global warming program at Environment America, an advocacy group.

The move will probably increase pressure on Congress to pass a bill to avoid less flexible, and what Republicans said would be more costly, regulations. Supporters of the legislation have already used pending EPA rules as leverage to get Congress to act.

Senate Republicans have already attempted to block the EPA from issuing regulations to buy more time for Congress to work on a bill. At least one Republican leader, Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, said Wednesday that Congress would try to stop the EPA again.


On the Net:

Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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3 / 5 (4) Oct 01, 2009
What a commentary on the sad state of climate science!

A Central Intelligence Agency press release a couple of days ago explains that a new CIA Center has been established on Climate Change and National Security

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
1.5 / 5 (2) Oct 01, 2009

The repubs never stop trying to stop progress. I suggest the output of these plants be pumped into their homes and see if anything gets done!!

Facts are less CO2 means less fossil fuel used, lowering costs and even more as fossil fuel costs are going up with a bullet.

Here in Tampa we forced TECO to convert an old coal plant to cogen NG and it's eff went from 30% to 60% and now far cheaper to run in fuel, fuel handling/shipping, labor and far cleaner going from one of the 10 dirtiest US powerplants to one of the cleanest. And now because of it our electric bill is cheaper than it would have been with coal.

And all thermal plants from coal, NG to nuke need to use low temp Rankine generators between the steam engine and the condenser. These decrease fuel, pollution 20% and cut size, cost, power, water needs of the condensers. They use these now on Geo-Thermal plants.
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 01, 2009
Can the CIA stop the life cycle?

a.) Man + Foods + O2 -(life)-> CO2 + H2O
b.) Plants + CO2 + H2O -(photosynthesis)-> Foods

Looks dangerous to me, probably a threat to national security!

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA PI for Apollo
1 / 5 (1) Oct 02, 2009
...we can begin reducing emissions from the nation's largest greenhouse gas-emitting facilities without placing an undue burden on the businesses that make up the vast majority of our economy..

...instead we will place an undue burden upon the utilities industry, which is the very foundation of modern Western living.

Awesome EPA. Now why don't you fill your regulatory institutions with people who have no background in science or chemistry or ecology... oh wait, you already have that one done.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 03, 2009
Now that the EPA has started regulating GHGs they can be taken to court and forced to prove the science behind the regulations.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 05, 2009
Now that the EPA has started regulating GHGs they can be taken to court and forced to prove the science behind the regulations.

Great! Can you imagine the impact of having Al Gore and/or James Hansen as sworn witnesses subject to expert cross-examination?

Experimental data supporting conclusions CO2-induced global warming would be subjected to careful scrutiny and open discussion overnight if the director of the new CIA Center on Climate Change and National Security was instructed by an Executive Order or an Act of Congress to protect National Security from any possibility of systemic intellectual dishonesty in federal research agencies: http://tinyurl.com/ya2jt7s

Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA PI for Apollo Samples
not rated yet Oct 07, 2009
Great! Can you imagine the impact of having Al Gore and/or James Hansen as sworn witnesses subject to expert cross-examination?

Yes! They can be shown to be less that impartial and, in the case of AlGo, to not be "expert witnesses". Put them on the stand and they can be discredited in the same way as if they would debate the subject with real experts.

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