19 Responses to September 16 News: White House Delays EPA Climate Rules, But Is Still “Very Much Committed” to Them
JR: The White House is still “very much committed” to greenhouse gas reductions the way NBC was “Committed to Keeping Conan O’Brien” on the network in January 2010. Too harsh? Just wait and see.
EPA seeks to quell climate concerns as greens fret
The Environmental Protection Agency sought to quell concerns Thursday that climate change regulations will face the same fate as an ozone rule that the White House scuttled this month.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said Wednesday that the agency would miss an end-of-September deadline to propose greenhouse gas standards for power plants, but insisted the rules are still on track.
She told San Francisco radio station KQED on Thursday that the agency will “absolutely” continue moving ahead with the standards. EPA officials say they will announce a new schedule shortly.
EPA is seeking to rebut the notion that the delay stems from White House or other influences outside the agency. Jackson told KQED that the delay was “not at all” a political decision, while spokeswoman Betsaida Alcantara told E2 that “we are very much committed to proposing the standards.”
I’d be slightly more reassured if they were committed to implementing the standards…..
The delay comes as greenhouse gas regulations and other EPA rules are under attack from Capitol Hill Republicans, who have called them “job killers.”
The rules were scheduled to be proposed by Sept. 30 under a legal agreement between EPA and a group of environmentalists and states that had sued the agency under former President George W. Bush, who opposed climate regulations.
Environmental groups issued a flurry of statements Thursday decrying the new delay.
“Every day we delay cleaning up our nation’s power plants fattens polluter profits and shrinks our chances of tackling the climate crisis. Today’s decision suggests that when it comes to uncontrolled carbon pollution, the administration appears content with business as usual,” said Joe Mendelson, the policy director for climate and energy programs at the National Wildlife Federation.
… power plants will have many cost-effective options to comply with Clean Air Act regulations without affecting reliability, affordability or general economic well-being. These include: investing in energy efficiency, increasing the share of renewable sources of energy, and greater reliance on natural gas. The coal plants most likely to shut down are old, dirty, and inefficient, and account for a small fraction of total generating capacity in the U.S. Furthermore, these changes would take place over a period of years (most likely the remainder of this decade), thus the industry would have ample time to plan for replacements in a manner that preserves reserve margins.As Philip D. Moeller (Commissioner of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) said in his testimony to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on September 14, “The electric industry can plan to meet whatever EPA regulations become final. This nation has complied with EPA regulations in the past, and we can do it in the future, given enough time and information.”
Global investment in renewable energy jumped 32% in 2010 to a record $211bn (£130bn; 149bn euros), according to the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2011 report.
Published jointly by the UN Environment Programme and the Frankfurt School of Finance, it shows that China has become the largest investor in renewable energy projects.
But the country still faces grave cases of pollution despite progress in cutting down on the number of new coal-burning power stations during the last five years.
According to Zhang Lijun, vice-minister of environmental protection, coal consumption increased by a billion tons between 2006 and 2010.
“And it is likely to see another one-billion-ton rise in the coming five years,” he adds.
China has told US oil giant ConocoPhillips to step up its efforts to seal leaks and clean up a spill off its north coast after finding oil was still leaking into the sea, state media reported Friday.
ConocoPhillips said last week it had halted production at its Penglai 19-3 oil field, China’s biggest and the source of the leak into Bohai Bay that has caused public anger and led to accusations of a cover-up.
But China’s State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said it had carried out checks over the past week and found that oil was still leaking near a drilling platform in the field.
“(The platform) is continuing to show this phenomenon (of leaking) after a relatively long period of time. This shows the source has not been effectively sealed,” the state Xinhua news agency quoted an unnamed SOA official as saying.
The SOA called on ConocoPhillips and its Chinese partner, CNOOC, to “continue to thoroughly seal the oil source and continue to clean up oil pollution on the sea,” it said.
Crews are continuing cleanup work from last year’s more than 800,000 gallon oil spill that contaminated southern Michigan’s Kalamazoo River.
The Battle Creek Enquirer reports that this week crews were seen in heavy concentration on and near Morrow Lake.
Enbridge Inc. failed to meet a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency deadline that had been set for Aug. 31 to clean up oil submerged in the Kalamazoo River. Officials have said that the cleanup effort from the July 2010 spill could extend beyond this year.
The spill occurred from a portion of an Enbridge pipeline running from Griffith, Ind., to Sarnia, Ontario.
The top six financial institutions in this country own assets equal to more than 60 percent of our gross domestic product and possess enormous economic and political power. One of the great questions of our time is whether the American people, through Congress, will control the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, or whether Wall Street will continue to wreak havoc on our economy and the lives of working families.
I represent Vermont, a rural state where many workers drive long distances to jobs that pay $12 an hour or less. Many seniors living on fixed incomes heat their homes with oil during our cold winters. These people have asked me to do all that I can to lower outrageously high gasoline and heating-oil prices. I intend to do just that.