With one of the most anti-science, anti-climate-action, anti-clean-energy political parties in the world (perhaps the most), the United States Congress has been unable to move forward with any significant effort to cut our CO2 emissions. In case you missed it, though, the Supreme Court declared in 2007 that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had the right and the responsibility to determine if greenhouse gas emissions were a threat to human health and safety and should be regulated under the Clean Air Act.
Based on the overwhelming scientific evidence showing that humans cause global warming and the effects of global warming are a huge threat to humanity, the EPA declared CO2 a public danger at the end of 2009, just before the Copenhagen climate conference.
With Republicans in recent set on demonizing and trying to destroy the EPA and any efforts to address global warming, and a Democratic leadership that seems intent on trying to compromise with them, it has taken nearly two years for the EPA to propose regulations for power plants. The EPA was actually supposed to propose these regulation by July 26, 2011 after some environmental organizations sued the EPA for taking so long.
The new rule, “Greenhouse Gas New Source Performance Standard for Electric Utility Steam Generating Units,” has been submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval from.
“EPA will work with OMB throughout the interagency review process and will issue the proposal when this review is complete,” said EPA spokeswoman Betsaida Alcantara. “EPA has engaged in an extensive and open public process to gather the latest and best information.”
Coal power is responsible for about one third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. So, without a price on CO2, these EPA regulations will be critical to cutting our emissions and transitioning to clean energy in the process. I’m curious to see what comes out of the OMB review.
Coal Power Plant photo by haglundc