EPA Delays Greenhouse Gas Emissions Regulations

EPA will delay subjecting large greenhouse gas emitters such as power plants and crude-oil refiners to new regulations until 2011 and will raise the threshold for using the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced Monday.

In a letter responding to a letter sent to her Feb. 19 by eight senators who have sought a moratorium on the regulations, Jackson said only the biggest sources of greenhouse gases would be subjected to limits before 2013. Smaller ones would not be regulated before 2016, she said.

In the letter, Jackson said one result of EPA’s “endangerment finding” not being enacted would be the prevention of EPA issuing its greenhouse gas standard for light-duty vehicles, because the endangerment finding is a legal prerequisite of that standard.

“The impacts of that result would be significant,” Jackson wrote. “In particular, it would undo a historic agreement among states, automakers, the federal government and other stakeholders. California and at least thirteen other states that have adopted California’s emissions standards likely would enforce those standards within their jurisdictions, leaving the automobile industry without the explicit nationwide uniformity that it has described as important to its business.”

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