The White House acknowledges delaying major environmental rules
Soon after taking office, President Biden vow To use the full powers of the federal government to fight climate change with a “greater sense of urgency”.
But on Wednesday, the Biden administration acknowledged it would miss several self-imposed deadlines to propose key environmental rules, prompting concerns among climate advocates about the delays. And advocates warn that if the regulations roll back into next year, they could be more vulnerable to legal challenges or even being overturned by a future Republican president or Congress.
the details: the White House Office of Management and Budget On Wednesday, it issued a semi-annual document outlining its latest regulatory plans across all federal agencies.
The document, formally known as unified agendaindicates that Environmental Protection Agency You will miss your March deadline for proposing greenhouse gas emission standards for new and existing power plants. The agency now plans to propose standards by April and to finalize them by June 2024.
- EPA officials have also acknowledged that they will not make it their spring goal to finalize stricter limits on soot, a deadly air pollutant. A final rule is now scheduled for release by August, while a proposed rule is expected this month.
- Lateness is also a final rule Emphasize the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency To reduce emissions of mercury and other toxic air pollutants from power plant stacks. This rule is now set to be released by March.
- In the Interior departmentIn the meantime, officials now aim to finalize a rule targeting leaks, venting and flaring of methane from oil and gas operations on public lands by September, not next month. Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide in its first 20 years in the atmosphere.
“I’d be lying if I said I personally met every deadline I’ve ever set,” he said. Margie AltManager Climate Action Campaign, a coalition of twelve environmental and public health groups. “But each day of delay is worse for our health, worse for our environment and worse for the climate.”
Sam SankarSenior Vice President, Programs, Environmental Law Firm justiceHe noted that if these rules were issued in the final days of Biden’s first term, a future Republican-controlled Congress could repeal them using Congressional Review Actwhich allows lawmakers to repeal a regulation within 60 legislative days of its completion by a simple majority.
“We would certainly like to see some of these rules issued sooner,” Sankar said. “But what is necessary is for them to get out as quickly as possible while being legally defensible.”
Asked for comment, a spokeswoman for the Environmental Protection Agency Chania Bran He said in an email that the Consolidated Agenda “affirms that the EPA moves forward with decisive actions to address pollution from the energy sector,” adding that the administration is committed to “advancing standards to ensure that all Americans are protected from power plant pollution that harms public health and our economy.”
White House spokesman Abdullah Hassan He said in an email that President Biden “will continue to use all the tools at his disposal to advance his clean energy agenda, which is already creating good-paying jobs, lowering costs, revitalizing American manufacturing, and getting the United States back on track to reach its climate goals.”
Track overall progress for Biden
Biden Undertaking to cut The country’s greenhouse gas emissions will drop from 50 to 52 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. While the Inflation Reduction Act It will put the country on a path to cutting emissions by 40 percent by the end of the decade, and it will take more executive action to make up the difference.
To assess management’s progress on this front, it’s worth checking out Washington Post tracker of Biden’s environmental workthat our colleagues Juliet IlperinAnd the Brady Dennis And the John Moiskins Updated regularly since January 2021 to account for every new green initiative across all federal agencies.
The tracker shows the Biden administration added 59 environmental policies and proposed another 54, while dropping 85 from the previous president. Donald TrumpIts environmental policies targeted 88 others:
In one of the most politically divisive actions under consideration, the Securities and Exchange Commission Working on putting the finishing touches on a Historical suggestion Requiring all publicly traded companies to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and the risks they face from climate change.
Congressional Republicans criticized the proposal as “Capitalism woke up” And he vowed to grill Gary Genslerthe Democratic chair of the committee, while environmentalists hailed the rule as a crucial step in forcing the private sector to confront the economic risks of a warming world.
Ultimately, Sankar said, the White House should prioritize getting all the pending rules out this year — or risk missing its targets for cutting pollution from a warming planet.
“The administration has given itself a decent raft of marching orders,” he said. “And this is the year you really need to follow up on.”
Jorge Santos made false climate claims as well
elected representative George Santos (RNY) has Face intense scrutiny in recent weeks for admitting to fabricating details of his biography, including his educational credentials. But the freshman congressman has also made false or misleading claims about his role in the energy industry, Scott Waldman Reports for E&E News.
While speaking on a podcast during Conservative Political Action ConferenceSantos falsely claimed to have played a role in developing technology for carbon capture and storage.
“Let our men and women out there dig responsibly with carbon capture technology that I helped develop, and that I’ve helped raise money for in my career,” he said. “I’ve had a very intense role in gas and oil in this country.”
Santos also said on a “Newsday” podcast last summer that he represents him Goldman Sachs At a conference, where he berates the company for its investment in renewable energy.
“Ever hear of a Goldman Sachs employee who takes the stage at the largest private equity conference in the world… and berates his employer? Well, I did,” Santos said. He said. “And I did it in a renewable energy fashion… And I said, you know, this is a scam.”
This claim is false, according to Goldman Sachs, which said Santos never worked there, Andrew Kaczynski And the Em Steak Reported to CNN.
Brazil’s environment minister said the nation will be a climate leader
after few days Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva He was installed as President of Brazil, and the country’s new Environment Minister, Marina SilvaHe said on Wednesday that Brazil aims to become a leader in the global fight against the climate crisis, Lisandra Paraguaso And the Peter Frontini Reuters report.
The announcement comes as Lula pledges to protect the Amazon rainforest, a natural carbon sink that has faced widespread deforestation and lax environmental rules under the former president. Jair Bolsonaro.
“The environmental agenda was destroyed by the previous government,” Silva said in a speech. “Climate change policy has been so dismantled that Brazil has become the world’s environmental pariah.”
On Wednesday, Silva also announced the appointment of a new secretary to oversee ending illegal deforestation in the country, as well as plans to create a climate body within Lula’s administration.
EPA Issues Test Order for “Forever Chemicals”
the Environmental Protection Agency On Wednesday, companies were ordered to conduct and submit tests on a dangerous, long-acting chemical used to make plastics.
The test order focuses on a type of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substance, or PFAS, called a trifluoro(trifluoromethyl)oxyran. More commonly known as “the forever chemicals,” PFAS does not degrade naturally and has been found in the water supplies of communities across the country.
Test order recipients, which comes as part of the EPA PFAS Strategic Roadmapincluding the consumer products giant 15:00Any announced last month It will stop manufacturing these chemicals by the end of 2025.
“PFAS can pose a serious risk to communities, especially those burdened with pollution, but many of these chemicals have limited or no toxicological data,” Michael Friedhoffhead of the Environmental Protection Agency Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Preventionhe said in a statement. “This is why we are working quickly to generate stronger and more robust data on PFAS to better understand potential risks and ultimately reduce them.”