This just in:

Exciting things are happening, people.

Today, the EPA announced their completion of a rule that will regulate smokestack emissions from large-scale polluters like factories, refineries and power plants. Wahoo!! According to an AP story these large polluters will have to,

“…reduce the amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that they release. Those emissions can exacerbate asthma and other breathing difficulties, which are worsened by particles in the air.

The rule would require companies to install better technology and improve energy efficiency whenever they build, or significantly modify, a plant.”

EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, even went as far as calling these “commonsense standards.” True. (But you have to ask, then why weren’t they already in place?)

As far as a timeline, the article says,

The pollution rule will take effect in January, when industrial facilities that already obtain Clean Air Act permits for other pollutants will be required to obtain permits for greenhouse gases, if they increase those emissions by at least 75,000 tons per year.

Starting in July 2011, the rule would apply to any existing plant that emits at least 75,000 tons of greenhouse gases a year, or any new plant that emits 100,000 tons per year.

If you’re thinking about how this will affect the climate bill, so am I. My earlier post was a little hazy on the matter, so here’s what I know,

The legislation aims to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases by 17 percent by 2020 and by more than 80 percent by 2050. Both targets are measured against 2005 levels and are the same as those set by a House bill approved last year.

But in a way, it’s better that the EPA takes action, because large companies tend to bargain and mold bills in Congress more than they do EPA rules. In fact, former bill coauthor Sen. Lindsey Graham (R, SC) was working with Liberman and Kerry but dropped out believing that the bill, though significantly weakened, couldn’t pass in the current “political climate.”

So anyway, this announcement is a big step in the right direction. The GOP has said it’s a job killer, but I wonder what about installing better technology and creating energy efficiency is job killing? Sounds like it’ll make jobs to me. And who would want to complain about cleaner air anyway? Lame.

-Jenny

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One thought on “This just in:

  1. Adi says:

    That’s so exciting! It’s about time that greenhouse gases require Clean Air Act permits!
    The fight against environmental initiatives has long been framed as jobs vs. environment, but I agree that perspective needs to change. It’s all about thinking in the long term.

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