The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Feb. 29 said it will exclude existing natural gas power plants from its proposed carbon regulations that it plans to finalize in April, narrowing the scope of the initial proposal that would have required stringent controls on those facilities.

The announcement comes as the agency came under heavy criticism by the electric sector, which had questioned whether the EPA had authority to force the use of technologies that the sector said are not economically or technically feasible for widespread use.