The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected an industry request to delay implementation of U.S. EPA’s greenhouse gas permitting requirements. Industry had requested a stay on the effectiveness of the rules while it proceeds with its full legal challenge to the Agency’s Endangerment Finding.
Beginning in a matter of weeks, large new and modified sources of greenhouse gases will be required to analyze available methods for reducing emissions of GHGs as part of the federal permitting process- New Source Review Program.
Attention will now most assuredly turn to Congress which will debate legislative proposals to place either a temporary or permanent hold on implementation of the EPA rules. However, there is no doubt such legislation is not going to happen quickly. Therefore, implementation of the EPA requirements will commence in January.
Best coverage of the story appeared in the Washington Post. The article offered these two perspectives on the Court’s decision:
Scott Segal, a lobbyist at Bracewell Giuliani, a firm that represents utilities, refiners, cement companies and manufacturers, said that if companies can’t meet requirements, then "the court may have ensured an effective construction moratorium for industrial and power projects. Given the state of the economy, the decision is certainly not a welcome holiday present."
But Nilles said that companies were exaggerating the difficulty of meeting EPA standards. He said that years ago when regulations about acid rain were imposed, "industry promised that the sky would fall, and it didn’t."