The Environmental Protection Agency today proposed a rule
that would require a broad range of industries to tally and report their greenhouse gas emissions.
The move was hailed by environmentalists as an important precursor to regulating greenhouse gas emissions, as the Obama administration is expected to do.
“This is the foundation of any serious program to cap and reduce global warming pollution,” said David Doniger, the policy director for the climate center at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “You have to have source-by-source data on how much of global warming pollution is emitted and from where.”
The rule, if enacted, would require some 13,000 facilities across the United States to report their emissions, and would cover manufacturers of chemicals, oil, cement, iron and steel, and automobiles, among other industries.
According to the E.P.A., the proposed rule — which is promulgated under the Clean Air Act
— would cover 85 percent to 90 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The reporting requirements would not only include carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas, but also other sources like methane, hydrofluorocarbons and nitrous oxide.
. . .
UPDATE: Auto manufacturers will be required to report the grams per mile of the vehicles that they make. Charles Territo, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said that this was not new for the automobile industry.
“E.P.A. already knows the carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles because E.P.A. measures grams per mile of CO2 from automobiles,” he said.
Power plants would also be required to report, although Mr. Doniger said that the United States currently has good data on carbon dioxide emissions from this sector due to the requirements related to the acid rain program instituted in the 1990s.
If the rule is enacted on schedule, the E.P.A. says that the first reporting would come in 2011, after monitoring of 2010 emissions (manufacturers of vehicles and engines would need to begin reporting for model year 2011). The E.P.A. estimates that the cost to industry would be $160 million in the first year, falling to $127 million a year subsequently.
. . .
...the proposal did not come as a surprise, as it was originally expected to come out last September. Congress had required the E.P.A. to move on the reporting issue in 2007 legislation.
What the Obama administration and Lisa Jackson, the E.P.A. administrator, have done “is finish it up and move it out the door,” said Mr. Doniger...