Ex-climate czar Browner predicts Obama will regulate existing power plants

President Obama’s former climate czar is confident that the administration will limit carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s existing coal-fired power plants.

“I think what you’ll see this term is more greenhouse gas requirements, particularly on new and existing coal-fired power plants,” Browner told The Chicago Maroon, a student paper at the University of Chicago.

The Environmental Protection Agency has already proposed carbon standards for new power plants, although final regulations have been delayed.

ADVERTISEMENT
EPA, in a 2010 settlement with green groups and states, also agreed to require federally overseen, state-based carbon standards for existing plants. However, White House officials have shied away from flatly committing to the existing plant rules or offering any timeline.

Power plants create roughly a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Coal accounts for by far the largest share of power-sector carbon emissions, EPA data shows.

Elsewhere in the interview Browner, who is currently a senior fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress (among other affiliations), rules out a return to government.

She headed EPA throughout the Clinton administration.

“I’m done. I’ve had a lot of stints in government. I started at this state agency, then the EPA. I said I would never go back, then the President asked me, and I was very honored and pleased to do it,” said Browner, who left the White House in 2011.

“I love public service. But there are other ways to serve—I serve on a lot of nonprofit boards, which is really fun. I work with young companies,” she said.