Tag Archives: EPA

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.


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Hope for Copenhagen

It seems as though I may have placed too much weight on the negativity of Bill McKibben’s article yesterday and failed to focus on other current events.

According my my professor, Cal DeWitt this morning in lecture, the promise of Copenhagen is not quite as dire as McKibben made it seem.

Since the EPA released yesterday that they will now consider 6 greenhouse gasses, most notably carbon dioxide, as pollutants, that makes some major implications for President Obama’s potential coming actions in Copenhagen.

Last week, Obama announced that instead of dropping by Copenhagen at the beginning of the conference, he would instead attend the final week, which is when all the major action and decisions take place.

This, coupled with the EPA decision (under the leadership of Obama), could mean good news for the strength of Obama’s (and consequently, America’s) presence and effort in climate change mitigation.

It could be that McKibben’s article was a final nudge to encourage Obama to take the strongest possible stance from the US, hopefully much greater than the original 17% promise.

I hope Cal is right!

More to come soon.

In the meantime, here are some updates from day two

A summary by The Environmental Leader

And a “major players” list from the NYT

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