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  • futureripplemovers futureripplemovers Jan 24, 2014 8:08 PM Flag

    Obama supporters defend go-slow approach on refiners


    Obama supporters defend go-slow approach on refiners

    Posted on January 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm by Jennifer A. Dlouhy

    WASHINGTON — Obama administration supporters are defending the White House’s decision to move on a slower track to limit refiners’ greenhouse gas emissions, while focusing on reining in the carbon dioxide coming from the nation’s power plants.

    Environmentalists have been pushing President Barack Obama to be more aggressive in combatting climate change, with 18 groups last week criticizing his all-of-the-above energy policy as undermining those efforts.

    And last week, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., pressed Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy to begin zeroing in on carbon dioxide emissions from refiners, industrial ovens and commercial boilers.

    The agency has been obligated to tackle carbon pollution from power plants and refineries since a December 2010 settlement with conservationists. But, so far, the EPA has been focusing its attention on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, which represent a third of U.S. emissions overall and about 60 percent of the those tied to stationary sources.

    The White House’s former top energy and climate adviser insisted Friday that’s the right approach.

    “After making a determination that carbon dioxide is a dangerous air pollutant that needs to be regulated,” it makes sense that the EPA would tackle the biggest source first.

    “At this point, they’re doing everything to make sure they get the right requirements in place, that they work with states and they work with industry to get the right requirements in place on power plants,” said Carol Browner, now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. “That’s what they should be doing.”

    But Browner hinted that refiners’ time will come.

    It “would make logical sense” for EPA to move to refineries, the next-largest stationary source of carbon dioxide emissions, after addressing power plants, Browner said.

    Gene Ka

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