GREEN
03/20/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

EPA May Reverse "Do-Nothing" Bush Efforts On Coal

MSNBC reports that the EPA is considering a major reversal of one of the now-famous "midnight regulations" put in place by the departing Bush administration:

The Obama administration on Tuesday agreed to review whether it should regulate carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, portending a major reversal of the Bush administration's policy on global warming.

The Environmental Protection Agency granted a petition from environmental groups seeking to overturn a rule that sought to prohibit controls on these emissions.

"Today's announcement should cast significant further doubt on the approximately 100 coal-fired power plants that the industry is trying to rush through the permitting process without any limits on carbon dioxide," Bookbinder said. "New coal plants were already a bad bet for investors and ratepayers and today's decisions make them an even bigger gamble."

The Sierra Club released this statement about the

President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today took the first step toward regulating carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants. EPA, under the new leadership of Administrator Lisa Jackson, granted a petition from the Sierra Club and other groups calling for reconsideration of an unlawful, midnight memo issued by former EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson which sought to prohibit controls on global warming pollution from coal plants. EPA announced in a letter to the Sierra Club that it will publish a proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register and seek public comments on the decision in the near future.

Today's decision is consistent with a previous ruling by the EPA's Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) in the Bonanza case, which found that there was no valid reason for the Bush administration's refusal to limit carbon dioxide emissions from new coal-fired power plants. The so-called Johnson Memo sought to unlawfully overturn that decision.