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No surprise: EPA prepares fresh stack of over 130 new regulations

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 30th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It comes as no surprise - bu the Environmental Protection Agency, out to protect the environment has a TON of new rules and regulations that will shortly go in to effect. The White House says the EPA has 134 new regulations. Whether these rules will be followed is anyone's guess .

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -  Major regulations that would limit emissions from power plants and expand the agency's authority to bodies of water on private property are just two of the dozens to go into effect.

The White House listed hundreds of pending energy and environmental regulations being crafting by executive branch agencies this week. Of the 134 major and minor regulations from the EPA, 76 originate from the agency's air and radiation office, including carbon-dioxide-emission limits on power plants.

President Barack Obama's has long sought to set carbon-dioxide limits. The EPA is set to set emissions limits that would effectively ban the construction of new coal-fired power plants unless they use carbon capture and sequestration technology. The agency will move to limit emissions from existing power plants next year. This action could put even more older coal plants out of commission.

"The proposed standards, if finalized, will establish achievable limits of carbon pollution per megawatt hour for all future units, moving the nation towards a cleaner and more efficient energy future," the agency said in its agenda. "In 2014, EPA intends to propose standards of performance for greenhouse gas emissions from existing and modified power plant sources."

According to coal industry estimates, hundreds of coal plants that have been closed or slated for early retirement on account of the EPA.

"Already, EPA regulations have contributed to the closure of more than 300 coal units in 33 states," Laura Sheehan, spokeswoman for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity says.

The EPA isn't just working on limiting emissions from coal plants; they're also working on a rule that would expand the definition of "waters of the U.S." under the Clean Water Act to include water on private property.

Republicans have hammered the EPA's draft water rule as the largest expansion of agency power in history.

"The EPA's draft water rule is a massive power grab of private property across the U.S. This could be the largest expansion of EPA regulatory authority ever," Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith says. "If the draft rule is approved, it would allow the EPA to regulate virtually every body of water in the United States, including private and public lakes, ponds and streams."

While it is vital to protect the quality of the nation's drinking water, smaller water sources eventually affect larger water sources that people use for recreation or their livelihood.

"It's taking the way the Clean Water Act works back, so that it works the way water works in the real world," Bob Wendelgass, president and CEO of Clean Water Action, told reporters.

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