EPA Eases Emissions Regulations for New Power Plants
by: David A. Fahrenthold and Steven Mufson, The Washington Post
Friday 19 December 2008
The Environmental Protection Agency ruled yesterday that new power plants are not required to install technology to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, rejecting an argument from environmental groups.
The ruling, in a memorandum signed by EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson, turns on a seemingly arcane regulatory question that could govern the future of new fossil fuel-burning buildings and power plants under the Clean Air Act.
During the Bush administration, the EPA has rejected the idea that greenhouse gases should be regulated like soot, smog precursors and other kinds of air pollution, despite an April 2007 Supreme Court ruling that said carbon dioxide fit the definition of a pollutant that could be regulated under the Clean Air Act.
The case at issue yesterday began in 2007 when the EPA issued a permit to a new coal-fired power plant in Bonanza, Utah. The Sierra Club, an environmental group, filed a legal challenge, saying that the permit should have required the plant to control its output of carbon dioxide.
Aw, who cares about clean air, anyway?