Obama issues global warming rules in January, gives GE an exemption in February

Obama issues global warming rules in January, gives GE an exemption in February

Last month, the Obama EPA began enforcing new rules regulating the greenhouse gas emissions from any new or expanded power plants.

This week, the EPA issued its first exemption, Environment & Energy News 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 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).

There’s something interesting about the Avenal Power Center:

The proposed Avenal Energy project will be a combined-cycle generating  plant consisting of two natural gas-fired General Electric 7FA Gas  Turbines with Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG) and one General  Electric Steam Turbine.

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!

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