EPA Will Gradually Phase in Controls on CO2 Emissions

Facing growing opposition from members of Congress, the Obama administration says it will gradually phase in controls on heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other large sources of CO2.

Lisa Jackson, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (at left), said that beginning early next year the EPA will regulate CO2 emissions from roughly 400 large emitters of greenhouse gases, mainly coal-fired power plants.

Other major sources of CO2, such as refineries and large factories, will be subject to EPA regulation in late 2011, Jackson said in a letter to eight moderate Democratic senators concerned about the effects of the regulations on their states.

Jackson said that smaller sources of CO2 emissions, such as moderate-sized factories, will not face reductions in their CO2 emissions until 2016.

The eight Democratic senators said they were happy that Jackson was moving slowly to begin reducing CO2 emissions under the Clean Air Act, but even the gradual phase-in of regulations is facing a challenge from Republican senators, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other groups, who have filed petitions opposing the EPA’s move.

Meanwhile, White House officials say they are continuing to work with leading senators on a climate and energy bill that would initiate some controls over CO2 emissions, fund the construction of nuclear power plants, and open up new areas to offshore oil drilling.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

photo: EPA

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