EPA To Miss Deadline For Proposed Greenhouse Gas Emission
Officials from the EPA also acknowledged that they would miss their spring deadline for finalising stricter limits on the deadly air pollutant soot.
President Biden promised to combat climate change “with a greater sense of urgency” shortly after taking office. He promised to use all of the federal government’s resources. Unified Agenda claims that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will miss its own March deadline for establishing standards for greenhouse gas emission from both new and existing power plants.
However, the Biden administration admitted on Wednesday that it would miss a number of its own deadlines for submitting major environmental regulations, raising concerns among those who support climate action over the delays. Advocates warn that if the regulations are delayed until next year, a future Republican president or Congress may be more likely to challenge them in court or even repeal them.
The document, known formally as the Unified Agenda, indicates that the Environmental Protection Agency will miss its self-imposed March deadline for proposing greenhouse gas emission standards for new and existing power plants. The agency now plans to propose the standards by April and finalize them by June 2024.
Officials from the EPA also acknowledged that they would miss their spring deadline for finalising stricter limits on the deadly air pollutant soot. A proposed rule is anticipated this month, and a final rule will now be published by the end of August.
The EPA’s ability to set limits on toxic air pollutants like mercury from power plant smokestack emissions was confirmed in a final rule that has also been delayed. Now, the rule will be released by March.
Instead of next month, officials at the Interior Department now hope to complete a rule addressing methane leaks, venting, and flaring from oil and gas operations on public lands by September. For its first 20 years in the atmosphere, the powerful greenhouse gas methane is 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.
It would be a lie, according to Margie Alt, director of the Climate Action Campaign, a grouping of 12 environmental and public health organisations, to claim that she has personally met every deadline she has ever set. But each additional day of delay is detrimental to our health, the environment, and the climate.
If these regulations are passed in the final months of Biden’s first term, Sam Sankar, senior vice president for programmes at the environmental law firm Earthjustice, pointed out that a future Republican-controlled Congress could repeal them using the Congressional Review Act, which enables lawmakers to revoke any regulation within 60 legislative days of its finalisation by a simple majority vote.
Check out The Washington Post’s tracker of Biden’s environmental initiatives to gauge the administration’s progress on this front. Our colleagues Juliet Eilperin, Brady Dennis, and John Muyskens have been regularly updating it since January 2021 to reflect every new green initiative across all federal agencies.
While former President Donald Trump’s environmental policies were targeted and 85 of them were reversed, the Biden administration added 59 environmental policies and proposed 54 others, according to the tracker.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is working to finalise a historic proposal to require all publicly traded companies to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and the risks they face from climate change, which is one of the most divisive actions under consideration.
Environmentalists have praised the rule as a crucial step in forcing the private sector to face the economic risks of global warming, while Congressional Republicans have denounced the proposal as “woke capitalism” and vowed to question Gary Gensler, the Democratic chairman of the commission.