While the introduction of a climate bill has been delayed in the Senate, the Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward with a new draft rule that could limit regulations of greenhouse gas emissions to apply to only large industrial sources. EPA submitted a rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget that will affect only those industrial sources of more than 25,000 tons a year of CO2.If implemented, the rule’s affect would be two-fold: it would protect smaller sources of emissions from being subject to any new regulation; and it would show the world that through congressional action or not, the U.S. is moving forward with regulating emissions.
The rule would affect the Clean Air Act, which now requires new industrial sources to use the "best available control technologies" when they pollute more than 250 tons per year. A so-called "endangerment finding" would require the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas pollution under the Act — even if Congress chooses not to pass a climate change bill.
The move comes after the EPA and the Transportation Department last week submitted draft rules to the White House that would increase car and light truck efficiency standards and implement the first-ever federal tailpipe standards for greenhouse gases.
There's little doubt that the new draft rule will help shield the Administration against claims that the government wants to regulate almost every part of the economy, even down to household appliances and hot tubs. But noted global warming denier Sen. James Inhofe Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, said the delay "is emblematic of the division and disarray in the Democratic Party over cap-and-trade and health care legislation."
More on the Endangerment Finding:
It's Official: EPA Finds Greenhouse Gases Endanger Public Health
Obama EPA May Regulate CO2 for the First Time Ever