EPA extends power plant emissions deadline…slightly

While its ambitious agenda to curb greenhouse gases (GHG) has been delayed, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is still moving ahead in full force to have power plants – one of the biggest contributors of GHGs – cut emissions drastically.

The EPA announced late last year it would move to push new, strict emissions performance standards on plants and refineries. The move faced stiff opposition from U.S. Republicans, as well as some others opposed to imposed limits on emissions, since it was viewed as a move by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to make up for the fact President Barack Obama failed to pass promised environmental legislation in his first term in office. However, the EPA had a legal mandate from the Supreme Court to move forward on carbon emissions cuts.

This week the EPA indicating it is budging, but only slightly. Its new deadline for proposing a GHG performance standard has been moved to September 30, two months later than the initially proposed July 26 deadline.

While power plants across the U.S. may breathe a collective sigh of relief that the deadline is not mere weeks away, this is but an eight week extension. Tracking, reporting, and mitigating GHG emissions will be the new reality for all power plants and refineries by the end of the year.

What’s the best plan? Well, since you can’t manage what you don’t measure, start tracking carbon emissions immediately.

While the current rule may apply only to the biggest emitters – refineries and power plants represent more than 40 per cent of nationwide emissions, according to the EPA – eventually all businesses will need to move towards emissions reporting and reduction. So what’s stopping you? Track and report on emissions now. It can be cost-effective, cheap and – counterintuitively – generate substantial financial rewards.

Did I mention we make software for that?

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