Obama directs EPA to regulate existing coal plants by June 30, 2016:

According to a presidential memo to the EPA.

The memo is below. Click for the PDF version.

###

MEMORANDUM FOR THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

June 25, 2013

SUBJECT: Power Sector Carbon Pollution Standards

With every passing day, the urgency of addressing climate change

intensifies. I made clear in my State of the Union address that

my Administration is committed to reducing carbon pollution that

causes climate change, preparing our communities for the

consequences of climate change, and speeding the transition to

more sustainable sources of energy.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has already undertaken

such action with regard to carbon pollution from the

transportation sector, issuing Clean Air Act standards limiting

the greenhouse gas emissions of new cars and light trucks

through 2025 and heavy duty trucks through 2018. The EPA

standards were promulgated in conjunction with the Department

of Transportation, which, at the same time, established fuel

efficiency standards for cars and trucks as part of a harmonized

national program. Both agencies engaged constructively with

auto manufacturers, labor unions, States, and other

stakeholders, and the resulting standards have received broad

support. These standards will reduce the Nation’s carbon

pollution and dependence on oil, and also lead to greater

innovation, economic growth, and cost savings for American

families.

The United States now has the opportunity to address carbon

pollution from the power sector, which produces nearly

40 percent of such pollution. As a country, we can continue

our progress in reducing power plant pollution, thereby

improving public health and protecting the environment, while

supplying the reliable, affordable power needed for economic

growth and advancing cleaner energy technologies, such as

efficient natural gas, nuclear power, renewables such as wind

and solar energy, and clean coal technology.

Investments in these technologies will also strengthen our

economy, as the clean and efficient production and use of

electricity will ensure that it remains reliable and affordable

for American businesses and families.

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution

and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to

reduce power plant carbon pollution, building on actions already

underway in States and the power sector, I hereby direct the

following:

Section 1. Flexible Carbon Pollution Standards for Power

Plants. (a) Carbon Pollution Standards for Future Power

Plants. On April 13, 2012, the EPA published a Notice of

Proposed Rulemaking entitled “Standards of Performance for

Greenhouse Gas Emissions for New Stationary Sources: Electric

Utility Generating Units,” 77 Fed. Reg. 22392. In light of the

information conveyed in more than two million comments on

that proposal and ongoing developments in the industry, you

have indicated EPA’s intention to issue a new proposal.

I therefore direct you to issue a new proposal by no later

than September 20, 2013. I further direct you to issue a final

rule in a timely fashion after considering all public comments,

as appropriate.

(b) Carbon Pollution Regulation for Modified,

Reconstructed, and Existing Power Plants. To ensure continued

progress in reducing harmful carbon pollution, I direct you to

use your authority under sections 111(b) and 111(d) of the

Clean Air Act to issue standards, regulations, or guidelines,

as appropriate, that address carbon pollution from modified,

reconstructed, and existing power plants and build on State

efforts to move toward a cleaner power sector. In addition,

I request that you:

(i) issue proposed carbon pollution standards,

regulations, or guidelines, as appropriate, for

modified, reconstructed, and existing power plants by

no later than June 1, 2014;

(ii) issue final standards, regulations, or

guidelines, as appropriate, for modified,

reconstructed, and existing power plants by no later

than June 1, 2015; and

(iii) include in the guidelines addressing existing

power plants a requirement that States submit to EPA

the implementation plans required under section 111(d)

of the Clean Air Act and its implementing regulations

by no later than June 30, 2016.

(c) Development of Standards, Regulations, or Guidelines

for Power Plants. In developing standards, regulations, or

guidelines pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, and

consistent with Executive Orders 12866 of September 30, 1993, as

amended, and 13563 of January 18, 2011, you shall ensure, to the

greatest extent possible, that you:

(i) launch this effort through direct engagement

with States, as they will play a central role in

establishing and implementing standards for existing

power plants, and, at the same time, with leaders in

the power sector, labor leaders, non-governmental

organizations, other experts, tribal officials, other

stakeholders, and members of the public, on issues

informing the design of the program;

(ii) consistent with achieving regulatory objectives

and taking into account other relevant environmental

regulations and policies that affect the power sector,

tailor regulations and guidelines to reduce costs;



(iii) develop approaches that allow the use of

market-based instruments, performance standards, and

other regulatory flexibilities;

(iv) ensure that the standards enable continued

reliance on a range of energy sources and

technologies;

(v) ensure that the standards are developed and

implemented in a manner consistent with the continued

provision of reliable and affordable electric power

for consumers and businesses; and

(vi) work with the Department of Energy and other

Federal and State agencies to promote the reliable and

affordable provision of electric power through the

continued development and deployment of cleaner

technologies and by increasing energy efficiency,

including through stronger appliance efficiency

standards and other measures.

Sec. 2. General Provisions. (a) This memorandum shall

be implemented consistent with applicable law, including

international trade obligations, and subject to the availability

of appropriations.

(b) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to

impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to a department,

agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office

of Management and Budget relating to budgetary,

administrative, or legislative proposals.

(c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not,

create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural,

enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the

United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its

officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(d) You are hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

BARACK OBAMA ## #

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