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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The EPA's Bold New Agenda

Fracking and carbon emissions are moving up to the top of the agenda for the US EPA. Today's post was shared by Mother Jones and comes from

A fracking site in Pennsylvania
A fracking site in Pennsylvania

The Environmental Protection Agency has released its to-do list for 2014, in the form of its annual regulatory agenda. And it calls for tackling some controversial environmental questions that Congress has been unable to resolve, including how to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants and whether energy companies should be required to disclose the chemicals they inject into the ground during fracking. While the plan has some gaps—Bloomberg BNA has pointed out it's noticeably silent on coal ash, a toxic coal-burning byproduct that has been responsible for severalrecent environmental disasters—it could have far-reaching environmental benefits. Below is a summary of the EPA's biggest goals in the new year.
Carbon caps for power plants
Between now and September 2014 the EPA aims to finalize its rules for capping greenhouse gas emissions from existing natural gas and coal-fired plants, which together produce a whopping 40 percent of the United States' carbon emissions and one-third of its heat-trapping gases. Controlling smokestacks emissions is critical to addressing climate change, but carbon legislation is a non-starter, even in the Democratically controlled Senate. The EPA rules are bound to be challenged in court and they'll invariable fuel allegations that Obama—and his vulnerable Democratic allies on Capitol Hill—are waging a war on coal. But, presuming they survive, they could be historic.
While the caps for...
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