Good Christmas Present for Present & Future Generations: EPA to Cut Global Warming Pollution from Power Plants

This is clearly one of the best Christmas presents future generations could have asked for. The EPA announced, yesterday, a two-year plan to come up with clean air standards for power plants and oil refineries that will considerably cut global warming pollution.

Here’s more from our sister site Cleantechnica:

With the defeat of the Democrats’ climate legislation in the filibuster-ruled Senate this year, that would have capped pollutants and reduced them annually, President Obama is today transferring to the EPA the regulation of greenhouse gases from refineries and coal plants that emit more than 25,000 tons of greenhouse gases, as promised.

In a statement today noting that these sources collectively contribute up to 40% of US greenhouse gas pollution, EPA chief Lisa Jackson said, ‘We are following through on our commitment to proceed in a measured and careful way to reduce greenhouse gas pollution that threatens the health and welfare of Americans and contributes to climate change.’

This is a truly significant move by Obama’s EPA.

“Power plants account for more than 2.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, more than any other industry,” David Doniger of NRDC (which had sued Bush’s EPA over this issue) writes. “Oil refineries clock in as the second largest source, with emissions equivalent to more than 200 million tons of carbon dioxide (mainly a mixture of carbon dioxide and methane).”

In combination with the Obama administration’s work to clean up global warming pollution from cars, Doniger also notes that Obama and the EPA are doing good work to address global warming despite a counterproductive Republican crew in the Senate:

Following on the heels of the Obama administration’s breakthrough clean car standards, EPA is now taking the next logical steps under the Clean Air Act and the Supreme Court’s landmark global warming decisionin 2007.

EPA is doing precisely what is needed to protect our health and welfare at a time when some would prefer just to roll back the clock.  Clear pollution control standards based on available and affordable technology will also help these two industries plan future investments, fuel the economic recovery, and create jobs.

Susan Kraemer gets into more detail on the new requirements and the political history that led to this action over on Cleantechnica: Obama Administration EPA Begins the Reduction of Greenhouse Gases from Power Plants, As Promised

Image: The White House

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