- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
A draft rule for the regulation of CO2 as a greenhouse gase (GHG) has been sent to the White House, and only big operators are in it, according to an article published by Bloomberg.
The most recent draft of the Greenhouse Gas Mandatory Reporting Rule , sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Aug. 31, 2009, would set a limit on reporting that includes only companies that produce more than 25,000 metric tons per year of CO2. The article notes that this would disclude smaller operations, giving the examples of bakeries and hospitals for those that would not be regulated.
The news service received its reports from statements by environmental groups, noting the Sierra Club and Clean Air Watch. A corroborative report also has appeared on Treehugger.com.
The cutoff of 25,000 metric tons per year of CO2 is consistent with the EPA's draft proposal released last March. It is important to note that the current proposal only creates a reporting regulation, providing a framework for actual controls, but not yet truly requiring diminished emissions.
The reporting rule is the Obama Administration's response to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling , which overturned the previous Administration's assertion that the EPA has no power to regulate GHG emissions. The court said the EPA can, but did not say it must, regulate gases that contribute global warming under the Clean Air Act. The agency's counting regulation, in conjunction with subsequent limits, could be used by the agency a stop-gap or backup measure in case the cap-and-trade program making its way through Congress falls through.
The EPA still needs to finalize its official endangerment finding to justify the controls without further legislation. According to Frank O'Donnell of Clean Air Watch, the "EPA appears to be getting its ducks in a row."