Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jacksonlaid out the timetable for regulating greenhouse gas emissions Monday, writing in a letter to lawmakers that she plans to start targeting large facilities such as power plants next year but won't target small emitters before 2016.
The letter makes it clear the Obama administration will move ahead with curbing global warming pollution under the Clean Air Act unless Congress moves to stop it. Jackson emphasized that the administration was required to act under a 2007 Supreme Court decision that said greenhouse gases from motor vehicles qualified as a pollutant under the 40-year-old air-quality law. Jackson was responding to a letter several coal-state senators sent her late Friday.
"I share your goals of ensuring economic recovery at this critical time and of addressing greenhouse-gas emissions in sensible ways that are consistent with the call for comprehensive energy and climate legislation," she wrote.
Under the plan Jackson outlined, major emitters of carbon dioxide that are already seeking air-pollution permits would face regulation as early as the start of 2011. Medium-size emitters such as a large liquor distillery would not face restrictions until the second half of 2011 at the earliest, and smaller facilities such as dry cleaners and hospitals wouldn't come under the rules until 2016.