The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will not wait on Congress to act on climate change legislation. A senior administration official says EPA will soon roll out more regulations on greenhouse gases and traditional pollutants like mercury emissions that will help cut planet-warming pollution and emissions that more directly hurt human health. The unidentified official says these new regulations will not be as strong as action by Congress.
The senior official stopped short of saying the EPA alone would achieve President Obama's goal of about 17% reductions in greenhouse gases by 2020 from 2005 levels. The official noted that with legislation you almost certainly get more emissions reductions than you get with existing authorities. Analysts say the EPA will not be able to achieve the far deeper cuts needed to help prevent the worst effects of climate change.
Energy companies, from wind and solar power makers to utilities, are concerned about the regulatory uncertainties, with some analysts saying billions of dollars of investments are stymied by the lack of direction in Washington. The administration official believes the EPA rules would provide regulatory certainty that could help businesses get loans to build new plants.