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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u May 7, 2013 2:13 PM Flag

    EPA denies request to regulate coal mine methane emissions

    Zack Colman - 05/07/13 11:09 AM ET

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not regulate methane emissions from coal mines, the agency said in a document made public Tuesday.

    EarthJustice had petitioned the EPA to use the Clean Air Act to set methane emissions rules for coal mines. The EPA denied that request in an April 30 decision, which will be published Wednesday in the Federal Register.

    The EPA cited budgetary constraints and a need for the agency to “prioritize its actions."

    EarthJustice and other green groups have pushed the Obama administration to use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, as the White House did when it proposed emissions rules for new coal-fired power plants.

    Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) quickly questioned the EPA’s decision not to regulate methane emissions from coal mines.

    The liberal lawmakers have consistently pushed Obama to pull administrative levers on climate issues while Capitol Hill appears immovable on the issue.

    In a Tuesday letter to acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe, the lawmakers said the EPA erred in choosing not to regulate the nation’s fourth-largest source of methane emissions and that its reason — financial issues — was not sufficient.

    “[T]he threat of climate change is so large and the window for action is so narrow that we do not have the luxury of ignoring any significant source of emissions,” Waxman and Whitehouse wrote.

    The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to regulate pollutants that endanger the public health. A 2007 Supreme Court ruling added greenhouse gas emissions into that category.

    Republicans and industry have pushed back against the EPA’s use of the Clean Air Act to regulate emissions from stationary sources. They say the agency used a legally questionable

    thehillDOT/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/298179-epa-denies-request-to-regulate-coal-mine-methane-emissions

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