EPA denies politics delayed pollution rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is denying Republican claims that the agency delayed formal publication of rules intended to limit carbon pollution from new power plants for political reasons.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the agency submitted the rules for publication last fall and “tried very hard” to get them published in the Federal Register. The rules were finally published last week.

Republican senators called the delay political. They said at a hearing Thursday that the delay means the rules likely will not be finalized until after the 2014 elections.

Sen James Inhofe, R-Okla., said the EPA’s actions show that the Obama administration wants “to wait to finalize rules that will harm the economy until after the elections” to spare vulnerable Democrats in coal-producing states.