The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to schedules for setting greenhouse gas emission limits for power plants and oil refineries. The schedules were negotiated as part of court settlements in lawsuits brought by environmental groups and states. Under the schedules, the agency will issue a proposed standard for power plants by July 2011 and a final rule by May 2012. The agreement also calls for a proposed standard for oil refineries by December 2011 and a final rule by November 2012.
Earthjustice represented the Environmental Defense Fund and Sierra Club in a 2006 lawsuit challenging EPA’s most recent power plant standards and represents Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Environmental Integrity Project in a 2008 lawsuit that led to today’s agreement on the timetable for refinery standards. The following statement is from Earthjustice attorney Tim Ballo:
“The EPA has a legal duty to respond to the very real dangers of global warming pollution by setting strong limits on carbon pollution from power plants and refineries. These are the nation’s biggest industrial sources of global warming pollution and deserve top priority.”