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Jackson dances around future greenhouse gas plans

By Erica Martinson
Politico
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on Thursday danced around the agency’s plans for future regulations of greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. Speaking at the CERES Conference in Boston, Jackson said the public discourse is focused on what is coming next.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on Thursday danced around the agency’s plans for future regulations of greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.

Speaking at the CERES Conference in Boston, Jackson said the public discourse is focused on what is coming next.

“Much of the discussion is about the next sources” to be regulated for greenhouse gases, Jackson said, acknowledging that the Clean Air Act requires that once the agency begins regulating a pollutant, it must continue regulatory efforts for numerous emission sources.

“We’re certainly not running away from that,” she said. “But we are mindful … [that] we need to do it in a way that’s better for our economy. I joined the president in hoping for legislation — and that’s not happening.”

EPA officials have made a recent about-face on public plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions at existing power plants after striking mentions of the assumed next step the new plant rulemaking last month.

“Rest!” Jackson said when asked what is on the EPA’s agenda for climate change for the rest of the year — quickly adding, “No, just kidding. There’s no rest … the urgency remains there.”

It is an “honor to be part of an administration that’s not hiding” from climate change, Jackson said.

Jackson touted the accomplishments of the agency on climate change: establishing a first-time finding that greenhouse gases endanger the health and welfare of citizens, and the subsequent auto emissions limits, tailoring rule and last month’s greenhouse gas limits for new power plants. And she spoke of the agency’s just-finalized emissions rule for natural gas drilling and refineries, which does not directly regulate methane emissions, but will in effect limit them.

But she made no mention of any new steps to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, only noting that the agency will take comment on the proposed greenhouse gas rule for new power plants, and turn to the next round of car and truck rules that are due in September.

Jackson also noted that EPAs waiting on several court rulings over the endangerment finding, auto standards and the tailoring rule — expected this summer from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

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