Stephen Johnson, the current EPA Administrator, signed off on a controversial ruling as he prepares to step down and allow Lisa Jackson to step in. The gist of the ruling is that newly constructed power plants are not going to be required to take additional steps to reduce the plant's carbon dioxide emissions.
An article on the Washington Post discussed the EPA's recording under the Bush administration. "The EPA has rejected the idea that greenhouse gases should be regulated like soot, smog precursors and other kinds of air pollution, despite an April 2007 Supreme Court ruling that said carbon dioxide fit the definition of a pollutant that could be regulated under the Clean Air Act."
I am admittedly not an expert on environmental law and interpretations but I can honestly say that I was aghast at this decision. Of course it is air pollution and it truly needs to be mitigated through regulation. This ruling, if left to stand as is, could have an impact for years as these plants can have a life expectancy of decades before needing any type of major renovation.
Photo by davidchl