Absent climate legislation, what role should the Clean Air Act play in regulating carbon dioxide and other dangerous greenhouse gases?
The landmark environmental law passed 40 years ago this week and was significantly amended 20 years ago. Now EPA is rolling out a number of new Clean Air Act regulations, including ones cutting carbon emissions from automobiles and power plants, reducing air pollution across state lines, and setting technology-based standards for certain industrial polluters. But Republicans and moderate Democrats are seeking to either strip or suspend EPA's power to regulate emissions. And some lawmakers and officials in the business and utility sectors are worried about all the regulations the agency has coming down the pike, not just those targeting carbon emissions. Environmentalists, meanwhile, are defending the EPA's regulatory authority, especially in the absence of a comprehensive climate bill.
What effect will the forthcoming regulations have on the electric and transportation sectors? What are the major challenges these industries face in attempting to meet the new requirements? Should Congress rein EPA in? Is the agency's power elevated with Congress unable to pass a climate bill?