Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson faced tough questioning Nov. 8 at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) criticized a recent EPA decision to grant a permit to a Utah coal-fired powerplant without considering its potential impact on greenhouse-gas emissions.

Waxman claimed EPA had failed to act responsibly in light of the recent Supreme Court Massachusetts. EPA decision, which gave the agency the authority to regulate CO2 as a pollutant.

Johnson said the plant has strict emissions limits for already regulated pollutants, such as sulfur and nitrogen oxide. He added that EPA has not had time to develop a CO2 plan yet, but said regulatory action is in the works. The high court ruling “makes clear that the agency must take certain steps, and make certain findings, before a pollutant becomes subject to regulation,” he said. Johnson said EPA is considering regulating stationary CO2 sources, such as powerplants