At a November 8, 2007, hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, committee chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) harshly criticized EPA director Stephen L. Johnson for the agency's failure to promulgate meaningful greenhouse gas emissions standards for coal-fired power plants.

Waxman accused the EPA attempting to promulgate, at the White House's direction, the "weakest possible" carbon dioxide emissions standards for such sources under the Clean Air Act's New Source Review (NSR) program. He also criticized EPA for issuing Clean Air Act permits to new coal-fired power plants without incorporating any limitations on the new plants' greenhouse gas emissions.

Waxman announced at the hearing that he would introduce legislation establishing a moratorium on approval of Clean Air Act permits for new coal-fired power plants until the EPA finalizes regulations addressing greenhouse gas emissions from such sources.

Watch video of the hearing here.