EPA still hopes for power plant climate rules ‘early’ in ’12, but refinery plans unclear

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson remains hopeful the agency will propose delayed draft greenhouse gas standards for power plants early this year, while the schedule for separate rules covering oil refineries remains uncertain.

“We don’t have a date yet,” she said of the long-awaited rule for new and modified fossil fuel power plants. “We have said early this year and we still believe that’s the case,” Jackson told reporters after a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing.

The upcoming power plant rules — which the White House has been reviewing since early November — are coming under heavy political fire from Republicans and some conservative Democrats, who are pressuring the White House to scuttle them.

EPA, under a settlement with environmental groups and states, is also planning separate rules for oil refineries. Jackson raised eyebrows at the hearing Tuesday when she told lawmakers, “There are no current rules under development on that issue.”

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