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Power Plant Carbon Rules Delayed By EPA

PHOTO: Carbon pollution rules for coal-fired power plants have been delayed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, at least until summer. Photo credit: J.C. Willett/U.S. Geological Survey.
PHOTO: Carbon pollution rules for coal-fired power plants have been delayed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, at least until summer. Photo credit: J.C. Willett/U.S. Geological Survey.
January 12, 2015

WASHINGTON – Rules designed to reduce carbon emissions from coal power plants are being delayed, with the Environmental Protection Agency saying there may need to be clarifications related to technology, and opponents accusing the agency of buying time to stop Republican leaders in Congress from scrapping the plan.

Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation, notes that 4 million public comments have been submitted and the health effects of cleaner air weren't overlooked.

"People all across the country care deeply about this issue, and we're confident that the end result will be a final Clean Power Plan to cut harmful carbon pollution, and to do so in a way that strengthens the economy and creates new jobs," she states.

There are three parts to the plan, which cover new power plants, existing plants and modified facilities.

The EPA says coal power plants are the largest single source of carbon pollution in the U.S.

The rules are now scheduled to come out mid-summer.

In Congress, GOP leaders promise they'll take action to prevent the rules from being finalized, or cancel them when they become final.

McCabe has announced a new piece of the package, rules that will put a state-based, carbon reduction plan in place for states that don't design their own.

"EPA's strong preference is that states will submit their own plans, tailored to their specific needs and priorities,” she stresses. “And we believe that states will want to do that here."

A dozen states are suing the EPA over the rules. About 65 percent of electric production in South Dakota comes from coal-fired power plants.


Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD