Scott Pruitt’s EPA outlines energy reforms

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said there are multiple ways to protect the environment and safeguard public health while pursuing economic growth and energy independence. In a new […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said there are multiple ways to protect the environment and safeguard public health while pursuing economic growth and energy independence.

In a new report, Administrator Scott Pruitt identifies a number of key initiatives to advance these goals and reduce “unnecessary regulatory burdens” on the development and use of domestic energy resources.

It aims to reform the New Source Review (NSR), a programme intended to ensure sources of air pollution such as power plants do not significantly degrade air quality.

The EPA previously repealed the Barack Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP), aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

It says this can slow the construction of energy exploration, production and transmission infrastructure and discourage construction of new facilities or modification of existing ones.

It also plans to review and reform National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), which limit operation of facilities releasing pollutants such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and lead.

The EPA says these measures currently impact all facilities that generate energy from oil and natural gas, placing burdens such as higher costs, greater uncertainty and potential closure upon them.

It also aims to reduce the costs imposed upon American businesses, employees, and consumers by regulations such as the Clean Water Act, the Toxic Substance and Control Act and the Solid Waste Disposal Act.

Mr Pruitt concludes his department will work more closely with the industrial sector to share knowledge, build relationships and simplify regulatory processes.

Mr Pruitt said: “We can be both pro-jobs and pro-environment.  At EPA, that means we are working to curb unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burdens that do not serve the American people – while continuing to partner with states, tribes and stakeholders to protect our air, land and water.”