JONATHAN CHAIT DECEMBER 22, 2010
I've been saying for a while that the Obama administration's climate legacy will hinge in large part on whether it can really stick to its guns on regulating carbon emissions. This is a good sign:
The Obama administration is expected to roll out a major greenhouse gas policy for power plants and refineries as soon as Wednesday, signaling it won’t back off its push to fight climate change in the face of mounting opposition on Capitol Hill.
The Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to a schedule for setting greenhouse gas emission limits, known as “performance standards,” for the nation’s two biggest carbon-emitting industries, POLITICO has learned.
Under the schedule agreed to by EPA, states and environmental groups, the agency will issue a draft greenhouse gas performance standard for power plants by July 2011 and a final rule by May 2012. The agreement – which comes after states and environmentalists challenged the George W. Bush administration’s failure to set the standards – requires EPA to issue a draft limit for refineries by Dec. 2011 and a final rule by Nov. 2012.
Interesting that this would put the ruling in the spring of 2012, right in the heart of the presidential election. Carbon regulation (as opposed to taxation) is popular, and apparently the administration wants to fight this issue.