GE at the front of line to receive greenhouse gas exemption

President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began regulating greenhouse gases from power plants and polluters for the first time. The new regulations stirred immediate controversy as critics predicted they would only slow down the nation’s economic recovery. Uncertainty in the agency’s regulations caused energy producers to stall plans for future operations in an already struggling economy.

“Finally we’ve got the rules that are beginning to require power companies to account for their global warming pollution,” Southern Environmental Law Center attorney Cale Jaffe said. “That’s a historic turn of events.”

But just one month later, the Obama administration has begun handing out exemptions from the rules, starting with a power plant project stocked with technology from the company whose boss now leads the president’s own Council on Jobs and Competitiveness — Jeffrey Immelt’s GE.

photo/ annca

Greenwire reports: The Obama administration will spare a stalled power plant project in California from the newest federal limits on greenhouse gases and conventional air pollution, U.S. EPA says in a new court filing (pdf) that marks a policy shift in the face of industry groups and Republicans accusing the agency of holding up construction of large industrial facilities.

According to a declaration by air chief Gina McCarthy, officials reviewed EPA policies and decided it was appropriate to “grandfather” projects such as the Avenal Power Center, a proposed 600-megawatt power plant in the San Joaquin Valley, so they are exempted from rules such as new air quality standards for smog-forming nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

Grandfather in…?!?!

The NY Times article continues: “Avenal plant will be exempt from “additional permitting requirements that have taken effect during the period of time these permit applications have been pending” — which include new standards for sulfur dioxide (SO2) that were put in place last summer and the new greenhouse gas rules that took effect on Jan. 2.”

From the Washington Examiner, Timothy P Carney:

Maybe GE CEO Jeff Immelt’s closeness to President Obama, and his broad support for Obama’s agenda, had nothing to do with this exemption. But we have no way of knowing that, and given the administration’s record of regularly misleading Americans regarding lobbyists, frankly, I wouldn’t trust the White House if they told me there was no connection.

On the upside, at least Job Czar Immelt is creating jobs!

Nothing to do with the exemption…nothing at all.



The “State of the Nation” column by Brandon Jones began on a website called Crazed Fanboy to discuss topics that the regular media were not reporting or barely discussed. While there was a strong political tone, there were no limits to topics or arenas discussed.

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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