(Bloomberg) — The Environmental Protection Agency said it
will delay carbon rules for power plants, missing a deadline set
by President Barack Obama in one of the centerpieces of his
Janet McCabe, the EPA’s top official for air pollution,
said the agency will miss this week’s legal deadline to issue a
final rule for new power plants. A more contentious rule to cut
emission from modified or existing plants will come out “mid-summer,” and not as scheduled in early June, she said.
“These rules are a suite of rules affecting an industry,
and we wanted to address those at the same time,” McCabe told
reporters on a conference call today.
The first U.S. carbon rules are a key part of Obama’s bid
to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, while stopping them are a top
priority on the Republicans congressional energy agenda this
year. A coal-industry group called the announcement a sign Obama
will “go at it alone” to “fulfill a misguided presidential
“The administration is doubling down on its climate
crusade at the expense of our economy and our people,” Mike
Duncan, president of the American Coalition for Clean Coal
Electricity, said in a statement.
Power plants account for 40 percent of U.S. emissions, and
coal, which is burned to produce almost 40 percent of the
nation’s electricity, releases the most carbon dioxide for every
kilowatt generated. The EPA’s carbon plan would discourage the
use of coal, and boost natural gas, renewable energy or energy
efficiency. EPA’s plan would force states to cut power-industry
emissions by 30 percent in 2030 from 2005 levels.
The delay in issuing the rule for new plants, which would
prohibit building coal plants that lack expensive carbon-capture
technology, comes after industry groups said it would
essentially outlaw new coal facilities.
McCabe said today that the EPA had identified issues that
needed to be addressed together in rules for new and existing
sources, and that justified the delay. Environmental groups,
which have criticized EPA delays in issuing ozone and coal-ash
rules, had anticipated the delay and didn’t complain.
“It’s full speed ahead for the Clean Power Plan, which
will deliver America’s first-ever limits on power plant carbon
pollution, the main culprit fueling dangerous climate change,”
David Doniger, director of the climate and clean air program at
the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement.
McCabe said the EPA will draft an implementation plan for
states that fail to come up with their own way to meet targets
set by the agency. The plan will come out this summer, she said.
“We look forward with this groundbreaking standard and its
commitment to ready a model federal plan for states who fail to
submit their own plan,” Michael Brune, executive director of
the Sierra Club, said today in a statement.
(A previous headline on this story was corrected to reflect
a change in timing of the release.)
To contact the reporter on this story:
Mark Drajem in Washington at
To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Jon Morgan at