Wednesday, February 18, 2015

U.S. EPA Chief Hints at Softening Carbon Rule Interim Timeline

Gina McCarthy official portrait (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
The Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday that it may ease an interim deadline for states to meet tougher carbon emission standards after regulators and electric utilities complained a lack of time may destabilize electricity supplies.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told an audience of state utility regulators meeting in Washington that she was giving them a "big hint" the agency may loosen the interim targets set in its proposed rule for existing power plants, under which each state would need to show an assigned average emission reduction between 2020 and 2029.

The proposal, due to be finalized by mid-summer, is the centerpiece of the Obama administration's climate change strategy.  Its Clean Power Plan envisions a 30 percent carbon emissions cut from the power sector by 2030, with each state meeting an EPA-assigned carbon reduction goal.

McCarthy said the agency did not hear much concern in public comments about the final 2030 goal, but was flooded with fears about the pace at which states and utilities would need to get there.

Janet McCabe, assistant administrator for air and radiation at the EPA, confirmed later in the day that the EPA may revisit the timeline, noting a change in the interim target "was very much on the table."

Read more at U.S. EPA Chief Hints at Softening Carbon Rule Interim Timeline

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