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EPA to Issue New Climate Rules Without Congress


In today's uncertain economy, the last thing businesses need is more regulation, but that's exactly what the Obama administration is serving up.

While Democrats' climate agenda remains on hold heading into this fall's midterm elections, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency vows it will take action to roll out it's own new regulations on greenhouse gases.  A senior administration official tells Reuters:

The agency "has a huge role to play in continuing the work to move from where we are now to lower carbon emissions", said the official, who did not want to be identified as the EPA policies are still being formed.

President Barack Obama, looking to take the lead in global talks on greenhouse gas emissions, has long warned that the EPA would take steps to regulate emissions if Congress failed to pass a climate bill. ...

The senior official stopped short of saying the EPA alone would achieve Obama's goal of about 17 percent reductions in greenhouse gases by 2020 from 2005 levels.

Though Congress isn't likely to act on the president's climate change agenda in 2010, the EPA expects it will do so in coming years, the official said.

Among the EPA's new rules will be new fuel-efficiency standards for America's motor vehicles, a policy hammered out by the EPA and the Department of Transportation.  In addition, the EPA is also unilaterally working to regulate greenhouse gases from "stationary sources" such as power plants and factories.

Starting next year the EPA will require large power plants, manufacturers and oil refiners to get permits for releasing greenhouse gas emissions, though details are unclear.

The EPA will also require industrial sources to submit analyses on the so-called "best available technology" they could add to their plants to cut emissions under the existing Clean Air Act.

In today's uncertain economy, it's not clear new regulations based in dubious policy will affect job-makers.

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