EPA Postpones Issuance of GHG Rules

September 15, 2011

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has delayed the release of its greenhouse-gas (GHG) performance standards for power plants, previously scheduled for September 30 (after a postponement of the original July 26 deadline earlier this year). EPA plans to issue a new release schedule soon.

The move comes amid intense pushback from business groups and Republican lawmakers who complain that recent EPA proposals are chilling business investment and hindering the economic recovery.  Last month, the White House announced that EPA would abandon an update of an ozone rule that business groups said would kill millions of jobs.

In a statement, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson explained:

"Greenhouse gases for power plants is first on the docket. Although we are not going to make the date at the end of the month, we are still working and will be shortly announcing a new schedule. We are working on a schedule and will release it as soon as possible. This is EPA's decision. It's a complex rule. We just needed more time." (US environment agency to delay greenhouse has proposals, Guardian, September, 15, 2011)

On December 23, 2010,  the EPA committed to issuing GHG performance standards for power plants and oil refineries in response to a lawsuit brought by several states and environmental organizations.  In the settlement agreement, EPA initially committed to issuing a proposed rule for power plants by July 26, 2011, and a final rule by May 26, 2012. Earlier this year EPA announced it had reached an agreement with the parties to extend the  deadline for the proposed rule until Sept. 30.  In that agreement, EPA reiterated its commitment to finalizing the rules by May 26, 2012.