Thursday, October 1, 2009

EPA flexing its muscles

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 2:20 PM

Go Lisa, go Lisa, go Lisa, go!

Lisa Jackson, the EPA's administrator, doesn't have time to wait on Congress to politic their way around the massive environmental issues our world is facing. She's using her authority to make change happen NOW.

Unwilling to wait for Congress to act, the Obama administration announced on Wednesday that it was moving forward on new rules to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from hundreds of power plants and large industrial facilities.

President Obama has said that he prefers a comprehensive legislative approach to regulating emissions and stemming global warming, not a piecemeal application of rules, and that he is deeply committed to passage of a climate bill this year.

But he has authorized the Environmental Protection Agency to begin moving toward regulation, which could goad lawmakers into reaching an agreement. It could also provide evidence of the United States’ seriousness as negotiators prepare for United Nations talks in Copenhagen in December intended to produce an international agreement to combat global warming.

“We are not going to continue with business as usual,” Lisa P. Jackson, the E.P.A. administrator, said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters. “We have the tools and the technology to move forward today, and we are using them.”

Ms. Jackson described the proposal as a common-sense rule tailored to apply to only the largest facilities — those that emit at least 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year — which are responsible for nearly 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

The rule would not, as critics contend, cover “every cow and Dunkin’ Donuts,” Ms. Jackson said.

Earlier this month, Jackson spoke to NPR's Diane Rehms:

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