EPA Proposes New Federal Rules on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

A proposed federal rule is aimed at limiting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from the biggest U.S. sources, federal regulators said Wednesday.

Lisa P. Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, said the regulations would apply to power plants and other industrial facilities that emit at least 25,000 tons of greenhouse gases a year, The New York Times reported. She said most of the 14,000 facilities that would be covered are already required to get permits because of other emissions regulated by the Clean Air Act.

The 25,000-ton threshold is far higher than that applying to sulfur dioxide and other pollutants with more immediate health effects. The high threshold protects small businesses and other emitters like apartment buildings.

Jackson said the proposed rule does not place an “undue burden” on business.

“This is a common-sense rule that is carefully tailored to apply to only the largest sources — those from sectors responsible for nearly 70 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions sources,” she said.

Charles T. Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, promised a legal challenge, saying the EPA would be exceeding its authority if the rule takes effect.

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