Tighter Environmental Protection Agency limits on ozone pollution, final rules on disposal of toxic coal ash from power plants, restrictions on transborder air pollution, and a final EPA regulation on power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions are highlights of a flurry of executive orders the White House is expected to unveil over the next two months.
“The pending EPA actions alone could amount to the most ambitious burst of environmental regulatory activity from Washington since President George H.W. Bush approved a crucial set of amendments to the Clean Air Act in 1990,” Restuccia and Martinson note. “The administration was committed to its upcoming deadlines many months ago, in some cases under court order, after postponing a number of the actions until after the 2012 or 2014 elections.” But with Republicans about to gain majority control of the U.S. Senate, President Barack Obama is out of time, so all the rulemaking will culminate at once.
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“In a world that was turned upside down on Election Day, two things are certain,” former Obama climate advisor Heather Zichal told Politico. “One: Corporate polluters and their allies in Congress will continue to fight against progress on the broader climate agenda. Two: The president is and will remain 100% committed to his climate action plan, and he’ll fight to protect it.”
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