Lisa Jackson, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is announcing tighter limits on what big emitters can release through their smokestacks by next year and environmentalists say the changes will help clean the air and lessen the pace of global warming.
EPA officials say the just announced limits parallel standards already in place for cars and other smaller sources of pollution.
Under the tighter restrictions, new power plants and industrial sources nationwide to address heat-trapping pollution as part of construction and operating permits.
The new standards would take effect when the EPA finalizes its proposed greenhouse gas standards from motor vehicles next March.
“Today’s action focuses federal climate policy on the largest sources of heat-trapping pollution,” Mark MacLeod, director of special projects at Environmental Defense Fund said in a statement. “EPA’s leadership to limit emissions from the biggest sources is smart policy that can achieve big results for the country.”
The non-profit says EPA’s “tailoring” proposal would establish a regulatory threshold of 25,000 tons of annual carbon dioxide emissions. The threshold would focus EPA policies at large sources that collectively comprise over 80 percent of the nation’s heat-trapping emissions.
Major federal climate legislative proposals also use this threshold.
Senators Barbara Boxer and John Kerry today also introduced legislation to address global warming pollution and advance clean energy solutions.
The EDF says that a 25,000 ton annual carbon dioxide threshold is comparable to the emissions from:
(1) 131 rail cars of coal consumed
(2) 58,000 barrels of oil consumed, or
(3) The emissions from the annual energy use of about 2,200 homes.