Have a read! In the meantime, does anyone have any news of the fate of
that Denver e-waste recycler that was part of the recent CBS 60 Minutes
November 14, 2008
Coal plants jeopardized over climate
By H. JOSEF HEBERT
Associated Press Writer
The fate of scores of new coal-burning power plants is now in limbo
whether to regulate heat-trapping greenhouse gases.
The uncertainty resulted when an Environmental Protection Agency
panel on Thursday rejected a federal permit for a Utah plant, leaving
issue for the Obama administration to resolve.
The panel said the EPA's Denver office failed to adequately support its
decision to issue a permit for the Bonanza plant without requiring
controls on carbon dioxide, the leading pollutant linked to global
The matter was sent back to that office, which must better explain why
failed to order limits on carbon dioxide. This is "an issue of
national scope that has implications far beyond this individual
permitting process," the panel said.
EPA spokesman Jonathan Shrader said the agency was reviewing the ruling
by the appeals panel, which traditionally gives great deference to
Environmentalists and lawyers representing industry groups said the
ruling puts in question permits some being considered, others
but under appeal of perhaps as many as 100 coal plants.
"It's going to stop everything while EPA mulls over what to do
next" about how the federal Clean Air Act is to be used to control
carbon dioxide, said David Bookbinder, a Sierra Club lawyer. "And
that will be decided by the next administration."
Bookbinder led the group's efforts to block the attempt by Deseret
a group of six electric cooperatives, to build a second coal-burning
generating unit at the Bonanza facility on the Uintah and Ouray Indian
reservation in Utah.
Deseret Power, had no comment about the EPA developments.
"In essence this is a punt to the Obama administration. ... All
permits in the pipeline are now stymied," said Jason Hutt, a lawyer
who represents a number of utilities, merchant energy developers and
refineries seeking permits. He said it also would affect permits for
President George W. Bush has made clear that he believes the Clean Air
Act should not be used, in permitting new plants, to control greenhouse
gases. It is not clear how the Obama administration will address
regulating carbon dioxide. The Supreme Court has told the EPA it must
decide on whether carbon dioxide endangers public health and welfare,
if it does it must be regulated.
Michael Gerrard, a lawyer not involved in the Bonanza case and author
"Global Climate Change and the Law," said the decision
"will embolden the lawsuits" challenging construction of new
power plants based on their impact on climate.
"It means that the appeals board recognizes that carbon dioxide
regulation of power plants is a very live and open issue. It does not
them. It puts a cloud over them, by making it clear that this is a real
issue," Gerrard said in an interview.
The Utah case has attracted wide interest because of its broader
Among those filing legal papers with the EPA's appeals panel, arguing
permit should be upheld, were the American Petroleum Institute, U.S.
Chamber of Commerce, the American Chemistry Council and the National
Association of Manufacturers.
Associated Press writer Dina Cappiello contributed to this
On the Net:
Environmental Appeals Board ruling:
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