EPA Issues Guidance on CarbonEmissions Regulations

November 10, 2010, 4:02 PM EST

Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) -- The Obama administration said states will decide how power plants and other big polluters should cut emissions when the first U.S. greenhouse-gas regulations take effect in January. The Environmental Protection Agency issued guidance today letting states determine on a case-by-case basis the “best available control technology” that companies should use to limit the carbon-dioxide pollution that contributes to climate change. Energy efficiency, an approach backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, probably will emerge as the most costeffective approach, the agency said in an e-mailed statement. U.S. lawmakers including Senator Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, and states such as Texas have sought to delay or block the EPA’s carbon rules, arguing they will hurt the economy. Environmentalists say the guidelines underscore the agency is seeking to craft practical rules. “EPA is showing that dealing with greenhouse-gas emissions is not the bogeyman portrayed by opponents of clean-air controls,” said Frank O’Donnell, president of the Washington- based environmental group Clean Air Watch. The EPA is moving forward with plans to regulate carbon emissions after Congress failed to pass climate-change legislation. A bill putting a cap on carbon pollution stalled this year in the U.S. Senate after a “cap-and-trade” measure passed the House in June 2009. President Barack Obama pledged to regulate carbon using the EPA should Congress fail to act.

The EPA’s guidelines say that emissions from producing ethanol or other fuels made from plants will be treated differently than greenhouse gases from oil refineries or coal. The agency said it will issue further guidance in January on how to assess the environmental and economic benefits of biomass. said today in a research note. which represent oil and gas companies. managing director of ClearView Energy Partners LLC in Washington.” Kevin Book. who wrote legislation to delay the EPA’s carbon regulations for two years. said the agency’s case-by-case approach will make it harder for companies to build or expand their operations and today called on the Senate to pass his bill. localities and America’s businesses. . Carbon Capture Unlikey The environmental agency said it’s unlikely companies will have to install expensive technologies aimed at capturing and storing carbon-dioxide emissions. Rockefeller. ‘‘The EPA is railroading job-killing regulations onto states. Book said. “Such an unstable regulatory environment prevents companies from making long range investment decisions. director of regulatory and scientific affairs for the Washington-based American Petroleum Institute. a move likely to spur hearings questioning the scientific basis for new regulations. The administration may be rushing to complete rules before Republicans take control of the House next year." Rockefeller said in an e-mail. during a time of uncertain economic recovery.‘Threat to Regulate’ “The Obama administration must now carry out its threat to regulate.burning power stations.’’ Feldman said in a statement. Howard Feldman. said the rules will hurt business.

S.” . The EPA’s carbon regulations are set to begin Jan. “We are disappointed that Texas hasn’t engaged in this process. The National Association of Clean Air Agencies.” the agency said today.‘‘Certain biomass feedstocks may be considered carbon. McCarthy rejected claims that the first-ever nationwide U.available process. which represents state and local environmental regulators. praised the EPA’s guidance. limits on carbon pollution will hurt businesses. ‘Greater Certainty’ The agency is providing industry “greater certainty. which were crafted after EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson declared greenhouse gases a public threat last year. 2 and will apply to new or modified industrial sources of pollution. Texas has challenged the EPA’s rules and told the agency in August that it doesn’t plan to comply with them. “We aren’t going to stop that with the greenhouse-gas” best. The EPA may “partially or wholly” exclude emissions from bioenergy and other biogenic sources in analysis of best control technologies.neutral. “The Clean Air Act for 40 years has found a way to issue permits in a way that allows the economy to grow. Pending Lawsuits The Obama administration is facing lawsuits over the pending rules.” she said.” EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy told reporters today on a conference call. The “endangerment finding” followed a 2007 Supreme Court ruling stating that EPA had the power to regulate carbon emissions as a pollutant under the 1970 Clean Air Act. quicker permitting decisions and a smoother path toward greenhouse-gas implementation.

It also included officials from national environmental groups and state regulatory agencies. The Clean Air Act requires states to implement EPA rules through a permitting process. Carbon emissions: the world in 2010 Tom Levitt 23rd December. and Southern Co.” according to a copy of its September report to the EPA.based group’s executive director. .available technology is a guidance document. the EPA’s definition of best. 2009 A post-Copenhagen look at where the carbon emissions are coming from and how that is projected to change over the coming decade The issue of carbon emissions is not straight forward. Companies represented on the panel included utilities American Electric Power Co. Although rich industrialised countries by and large produce the most emissions. that does not necessarily mean that countries which are getting richer will produce more emissions.” The difficulty of crafting the carbon regulations was evident earlier this year when the panel advising the EPA on the issue became deadlocked over what pollution-cutting technology power plants. After almost a year of talks.Bill Becker. “This should put to rest the exaggerated claims of some stakeholders that greenhouse-gas permitting will have disastrous economic consequences. Under the Clean Air Act. the Washington. said in a statement. for the state and local authorities. the working group couldn’t reconcile “divergent points of view. factories and other sources should be required to use. not a rulemaking.

and environmental groups that had sued the agency to regulate emissions of gases blamed for warming the planet.As statistics compiled by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and illustrated in the graphics below show. . policy to combat global warming. greenhouse gases. it's not establishing a tonnage (of emissions) that should be emitted or shouldn't be emitted. factors such as emission intensity (the amount of output per unit of CO2 produced) and exporting emission-intensive production to other countries play a role in overall emissions.S. 2 that require the biggest polluters to get permits for emitting greenhouse gases. The standards. including California and New York. The fossil fuel plants emit about 40 percent of U. The strategy stems from the EPA's ruling a year ago that greenhouses gases were a threaten human health and welfare." said Gina McCarthy.. pressing ahead with the Obama administration's strategy of tackling the pollution in the absence of federal climate legislation.S. an EPA assistant administrator on air and radiation. which has come under fire from industry groups and Republicans in Congress. The new rules will come on top of regulations starting on Jan. the specifics of which have not been established.S.. environmental regulators released a plan on Thursday for the nation's power plants and refineries to cut greenhouse gas emissions. are also the latest stage of President Barack Obama's effort to drive U. The plan resulted from an agreement with states. "This is about taking a look at what technologies are available that can cost-effectively achieve reductions in greenhouse gases . WASHINGTON — U. The Environmental Protection Agency said it would propose so-called performance standards on greenhouse gas emissions on both new and existing plants beginning in July for power plants and for oil refineries by December.

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