The Obama EPA has made it their especial mission to bring about the demise of the coal industry post-haste, and last year, they announced that they were getting to work writing the first-ever regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants — even though the industry protested that such rules would “make it impossible to build any new coal-fueled power plants and could cause the premature closure of many more coal-fueled power plants operating today” (I mean, that’s pretty much the whole point here).

The EPA was all excited about pushing the new rules out by April, and radical environmentalist groups couldn’t have been more pleased with the endeavor — but most unusually, it sounds like the eco-zealots at the EPA may have gotten ahead of themselves yet again.

The Washington Post reports that the Obama administration is leaning toward holding off on the proposal for some revisions, possibly to give themselves time to better insulate the rules against the inevitable legal challenges, and/or because the rules might even be too strict for even new natural gas plants. Oops:

Frank O’Donnell, president of the advocacy group Clean Air Watch, said the EPA “set the gold standard” when it proposed requiring any new power plant emit no more CO2 than an average new U.S. gas plant.

“The question is whether this weakens it,” O’Donnell said of a possible revision. “It’s hard to see it strengthening it.”

Jeffrey Holmstead, a partner at the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani who represents several utilities, said the agency is responding to industry’s concerns that even some new natural gas plants would not be able to meet the proposed standard.

“My sense is they realize the path that started down doesn’t work,” said Holmstead, who headed EPA’s air and radiation office under George W. Bush. “This proposal is so completely different from anything they’ve done before they’ve created a problem for themselves.” …

“They need to set a standard that will hold up in court, or otherwise it jeopardizes the entire idea of regulating greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants,” O’Donnell said.

The EPA may have jumped the gun in their eagerness to pass still more regulations that they view as landmark achievements? It’s shocking, I know, but the independent and out-of-control federal agency has suffered a number of legal setbacks in their recent quest to forcibly transform America’s energy sector (even if they have to tank the darn economy to do it, by golly!). I’m sure they really want to get this one right, you know?