Archive for Saturday, December 25, 2010

EPA moving unilaterally to limit greenhouse gases

December 25, 2010


— Stymied in Congress, the Obama administration is moving unilaterally to clamp down on power plant and oil refinery greenhouse emissions, announcing plans for developing new standards over the next year.

In a statement posted on the agency’s website late Thursday, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson said the aim was to better cope with pollution contributing to climate change.

“We are following through on our commitment to proceed in a measured and careful way to reduce GHG pollution that threatens the health and welfare of Americans,” Jackson said in a statement. She said emissions from power plants and oil refineries constitute about 40 percent of the greenhouse gas pollution in this country.

President Barack Obama had said two days after the midterm elections that he was disappointed Congress hadn’t acted on legislation achieving the same end, signaling that other options were under consideration.

Jackson’s announcement came on the same day that the administration showed a go-it-alone approach on federal wilderness protection — another major environmental issue. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said his agency was repealing the Bush era’s policy limiting wilderness protection, which was adopted under former Interior Secretary Gale Norton.

On climate change, legislation in Congress putting a limit on heat-trapping greenhouse gases and allowing companies to buy and sell pollution permits under that ceiling — a system known as “cap and trade” — stalled in the Senate earlier this year after narrowly clearing the House. Republicans assailed it as “cap and tax,” arguing that it would raise energy prices.

But the Senate in late June rejected by a 53-47 vote a challenge brought by Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski that would have denied the EPA the authority to move ahead with the rules.

Jackson noted in Thursday’s statement that her agency that several state and local governments and environmental groups had sued EPA over the agency’s failure to update or publish new standards for fossil fuel plants and petroleum refineries. The announcement Thursday came in connection with a settlement of the suit the states brought against the EPA.

The EPA also announced Thursday that it was taking the unprecedented step of directly issuing air permits to industries in Texas, citing the state’s unwillingness to comply with greenhouse gas regulations going into effect Jan. 2.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

They aren't going it alone. Even the Supreme Court has ruled that they are required by law to address greenhouse gases.

pace 7 years, 5 months ago

yes, i want the industries to run unregulated. As long as there are jobs for a while who cares if they leave seeping sores spreading across valleys, Who care if they don't pay to dispose of their filth, belching it free into the air. It all goes away, no problem. The crooks and the ignorant claim we can trust the industries, they wouldn't take the cheap cut, leaving the taxpayers to clean the unclean-able. Not all industry or corporations are irresponsible but the ones who are irresponsible are the crooks and the ones who don't want to face that, are the ignorant.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 5 months ago

Internal combustion lawnmowers are killing the planet! Ban them now.

TopJayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Open your wallets. The Obaminotor is making another end run around Congress. We gotta get rid of this guy.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

According to the Supreme Court, the EPA has the authority and the responsibility to regulate CO2 emissions.

Congress is not the only, or the most powerful branch of Congress - we have a 3 branch system.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

Sorry - silly typo.

Not the only, or most powerful branch of "our government".

monkeyhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

"The Anointed One" - small case, please.

Here is an elaboration on what else he said to make the struggling masses feel good about hope and change:

"Obama's Stealth Energy Policy; If Congress won't make your electricity rates -skyrocket, the EPA will.

Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket--even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad, because I'm capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, natural gas--you name it--whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retro-fit their operations."

In other news:

"Barack Obama called Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie earlier this week to congratulate him for giving Vick a second chance after his release from prison."

Kiss of death for the Eagles - smart money is off them after BO kept everyone in suspense for a couple of days and picked the Hawks in the big dance last year. He needs to keep that name out of his mouth.

Ken Lassman 7 years, 5 months ago

Judging from the flurry of shouting already going on in this thread, the troops have already received their marching instructions to spew as much garbage out there in order to prevent any meaningful discussion of the issues or eliminate the opportunity to educate what may be at stake.

Perhaps there are a few interested individuals who dare take a peek at these forums to see if anything useful might be gleaned from them--if so, now's the time to speak up!

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

We have a 3 branch system, not a 1 branch one.

And, we vote for elected officials, who appoint various people to posts in the administration, and who review Supreme Court appointees and confirm them as well.

The idea is that there's a system of "checks and balances" between the various branches, and that the judiciary should be somewhat independent of the other two.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

The point missed is that appointed officials at the EPA acting in this fashion based on rulings by the Supreme Court is a perfect example of our system in action, not fascism.

Cody Ochs 7 years, 5 months ago

Putting my TS cap on: "...appointed officials..."

Don't you mean ANNOINTED officials???

Also, Tommy, I believe you meant to say they are "affecting" our lives.

Ken Lassman 7 years, 5 months ago

Tom, You need to take off your anti-Obama blinders off once in a while. If you did, you might have noticed the following paragraph in the article:

"Jackson noted in Thursday’s statement that several state and local governments and environmental groups had sued EPA over the agency’s failure to update or publish new standards for fossil fuel plants and petroleum refineries. The announcement Thursday came in connection with a settlement of the suit the states brought against the EPA."

In other words, there is a subtantive legal mandate that is pushing this forward, a process that started during the Bush Administration when they blew off the EPA and the Supreme Court told them that they couldn't. Not only that, there is a substantial majority of Americans who happen to agree with this action, that believe the majority of the scientific community that has concluded (based on overwhelming evidence that continues to accumulate) that global warming is a real threat to future generations and that power plants and refineries are a substantial source for CO2 and therefore they need to be controlled like any other substance that threatens the American peoples' well being.

In other words, quite the opposite of fascism.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

If you're wrong, will you acknowledge it?

And, I'm sure you can find numerous examples of other presidents using various means other than Congress to achieve their goals.

See my above post.

pace 7 years, 5 months ago

No, if Tom is wrong, he will blame it on President Obama,

Cody Ochs 7 years, 5 months ago

Mr Shewmon, Please do a bit more research (regurgitating Fox News stories is not research) before you speak. You are so rabidly and reflexively anti-Obama that you cannot even see when he gets it right. People might respect your opinion more if you did't resort to constant playground name-calling to make your point. At least Merril makes the effort to find references from multiple sources to make a point (albeit a bit repetitively).

bendover61 7 years, 5 months ago

This is the tax increase that Obama couldn't get through congress. "Electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket" - Obama

gudpoynt 7 years, 5 months ago

China recently surpassed the US as the world's #1 polluter.

I can't understand why some insist on regaining that crown?

Thunderdome 7 years, 5 months ago

Are you out of your mind! The "free market" stopped innovating when the sole purpose of it became maximizing shareholder wealth. It is ONLY through regulation that any sort of environmental stewardship will occur.

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago

LO, how did you get to this?? True market economics has historically discounted the costs to the society in favor of the profit to the actor. Shall we talk about the Lavendar Pit in Bisbee AZ??

Thunderdome 7 years, 5 months ago

Where's the "facts" in your statement? You are taking your perception of the former Soviet Union (one case) and extrapolating that into some kind of free market paradigm. Since the Clean Air Act was promulgated, emissions of VOCs and SO2 have been reduced by more than 50 percent. Had it not been for those regulations, the free market would have continued to emit these pollutants because there were no incentives to do otherwise. There are some regulations that don't make sense and they should be repealed. But suggesting that the free market alone can or will spontaneously serve as a steward of the environment is absolute lunacy.

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago


  1. Could agnostic be right??
  2. I dispute your argument that studies have shown .... I beleieve that any rational study will show just the opposite.

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago


I remember a clean air act and a clean water act et al somewhere in the 60s. I remember that business fought them tooth and nail. We are today a lot cleaner than we might have been otheerwise. Sometimes I feel the liberals just choose to ignor all of our effort to date. However, the market did not drive that effort.!!!!!

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago

Rant, rant, rant. Maybe we should wait and see what is actually proposed???. Will it end life as we know it (return us to the 17th century) or protect life as we know it for our kids? There can be a middle ground that limits unnecessary and destructive emmissions without destroying our economy. Will we be able to find it??? Ranting does not help.

beatrice 7 years, 5 months ago

George, well stated and I agree (hope you don't mind).

Thunderdome 7 years, 5 months ago

If you don't like what you are reading, stop reading it! Nobody is forcing you to read this blog.

gr 7 years, 5 months ago

But CO2 is not pollution. But never mind the facts.

By the way, I heard that there were dinosaurs and beaches in Colorado. Guess we've had many years of global cooling even as recently as the 1970's. Now that we are stabilizing, some think it's some big warming event when we haven't even got near to what Colorado had.

pace 7 years, 5 months ago

i know your science is largely a matter of emotions and faith but dinosaurs in 'colorado in 1970's or did you mean to make the loosest implication that erosion is positive proof that current co2s levels and pollutants aren't effecting the weather patterns of our planet or it's health. whhoeey Now that is rock solid. You have part ownership in a continent of plastic slurry in our ocean. Can't wait till you pass that to your grand kids. . Consuming at any price is one of the real debts our grandchildren will inherit. I like living in a country where you can drink the water and the air isn't some corporate free dump site. Your facts aren't facts they are dreams that you are doing nothing wrong when you leave your campsite filthy. My grandchildren weren't born to clean up after polluters. There is a difference between hiding your head in the sand and insisting that sand in the gas tank doesn't hurt anything. Your willingness to believe that our current environmental practices aren't leading to trouble is wrong.

gr 7 years, 5 months ago

Let's try to analyze the statement. "Guess we've had many years of global cooling even as recently as the 1970's." Global cooling. Even as recently. As the 1970's. Which did not involve Dinosaurs nor Colorado.


pace 7 years, 5 months ago

Well I understand a lot, like arguments that make sense but you declaring a list of words, dinosaur, Colorado, 1970 to be an argument to be understood, doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I assume you may have a different basic language pattern than most of the rest of the country and this is the best you can do, just saying vague words that don't make any sense. If that was what you meant to say, you have the right, but freedom of speech. doesn't mean speech should be free of meaning. You might try tying those words together with sentences that explain why those words mean something to you about the topic. don't do it if the effort makes you dizzy.

gr 7 years, 5 months ago

pace, that was from the above sentence. Of which list did not include dinosaurs nor Colorado. Sorry they included more than one word per line. I tried to make it simpler so you wouldn't include things that weren't included.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 5 months ago

Comrade Chavez is also big on ruling by decree.

Gene Wallace 7 years, 5 months ago

Will the CO2 and Methane emissions of 300 million+ residents in the US be "Capped and Traded"? How about the emissions of all of our pets? Will we be prosecuted and/or persecuted for our Toxic emissions?

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