Environmental and public health advocates pressed the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants during a May 24 hearing on a proposal to limit carbon dioxide from new fossil fuel-fired units.
EPA proposed carbon dioxide limits April 13 for new fossil fuel-fired power plants, but the proposal exempts existing and modified sources.
At the hearing at EPA headquarters, Paul Billings, vice president of policy and advocacy at the American Lung Association, called EPA’s proposal “an important first step” toward regulating greenhouse gases. However, he urged regulation of existing sources as well.
“Anything less shortchanges our kids and shortchanges our health,” he said.
Darin Schroeder of the Clean Air Task Force also pressed EPA to act on existing power plants. Administrator Lisa Jackson said when the rule was proposed that the agency has “no plans” to do so in the immediate future.
Existing power plants account for “the bulk” of carbon dioxide emissions, Schroeder said. “We look to EPA to take much-needed action to reduce CO2 emissions from existing sources as a next step,” he said.
The vast majority of testimony at the hearing came from environmental and public health advocacy groups. EPA held a second hearing on the proposed rule in Chicago May 24.