Obama EPA frets issuing pre-election cap-and-trade power plant regulations

Obama can’t do cap-and-trade before the election. But afterwards, win or lose…

The Hill reports,

The Environmental Protection Agency will soon float delayed draft rules to curb greenhouse gas pollution from power plants, but the agency’s top air quality official isn’t making any promises that the standards will be finalized before the 2012 elections.

“I at this point won’t anticipate when that is going to be completed,” Gina McCarthy, who heads the Office of Air and Radiation, at a briefing Thursday hosted by ICF International…

McCarthy said the rules – which would apply to new and modified power plants – are on track to be proposed in draft form soon. “Our timeline has been for the end of January. We think we are close that timeline,” she said.

The rules, under a 2010 settlement with environmental groups and others, were initially slated to be proposed last summer and completed next May, but the schedule has repeatedly slipped.

McCarthy said the rules will be beneficial for the public and the power sector, which is by far the largest stationary source of carbon emissions that are contributing to global warming.

“We are trying to do this to benefit the industry for certainty as well address the issues associated with climate change,” McCarthy said.

“We think regulating greenhouse gases from power plants is a reasonable and appropriate thing to do and one that could help in terms of providing certainty to investments moving forward,” she said.

Obama wants to set the CO2 emissions standard for new and modified coal-fired power plants the same as that for natural gas plants. As gas plants emit only about half the CO2 as coal plants, this obviously means no new and/or updated coal plants.

We believe this rule is coming out post-election, no matter what the outcome.

If Obama loses, the rule will come out as a flurry of desperate last minute regulation and Obama will challenge the new President to reverse it.

If Obama wins (God forbid), the rule will come out so he can check the CO2 box and move on to other economically devastating EPA regulation like more stringent ozone and PM air quality standards.

One thought on “Obama EPA frets issuing pre-election cap-and-trade power plant regulations”

  1. As transparent as the attempt to push the pipeline to post-election. Done deal.
    It is more important to him to force change based on the need to build himself up than to worry about either the need or cost of that change. Here’s a thought: Even if these types of changes are the “wave of the future, isn’t smarter to let them occur at their own pace and not force them? What is it, the ego and the love of force?

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