The Biden administration is carving existing gas-fired power plants out of its pending rule to cut greenhouse gases from the energy sector and will tackle emissions from those facilities in a broader supplemental rulemaking, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan said in late February. 

The agency made the change after receiving more than 1.3 million comments on the 2023 proposed rule, expected in final form this spring. It will cover all existing coal-fired plants but only new gas-fired facilities, he said. 

Delaying the rule for existing natural gas plants will enable EPA to make sure it helps environmental justice communities improvelocal air quality, said Melissa Miles, executive director of the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance. Environmental groups Earthjustice and the Sierra Club also support the change.

But Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, (D-R.I.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a statement that existing gas-fired plants now will produce most power sector emissions. 

He called for EPA to complete a "robust rule covering the existing gas fleet by the end of the year.”