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‘Waiver-Mania’ Expands from Obamacare to EPA Regs

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By Doug Powers  •  February 3, 2011 11:34 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

On many occasions Michelle has written about the hundreds and hundreds of Obamacare waivers that have been handed out like Pez from the Hope dispenser ever since the passage of the health care law. The “waivers for favors” system is proving so popular that it’s expanding to Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

The EPA recently began regulating greenhouse gases from power plants and other “big polluters,” and they made it a whole month before issuing their first waiver.

From the Washington Examiner:

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.

It just so happens that General Electric is headed up by Jeffrey Immelt, who works with Obama on his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. But I’m sure that’s just a coincidence…

More California EPA waiver background here.

Update: ZIP displays the appropriate logo.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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