EPA Poised To Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

by | Feb 20, 2009

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In what could be a major boon to cleantech industries, the Environmental Protection Agency appears poised to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas, The New York Times reports.

Impacting transportation, manufacturing and the way utilities generate power, the mere threat of EPA action also may spur Congress to create regulation of its own, analysts say.

Either way, the action would appear to benefit companies whose products or services reduce and monitor CO2 and other greenhouse gas.

The Obama Administration’s move has its root in a December 2008 memo from then-EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, whose memo addressed when the Prevention of Significant Deterioration program applies to carbon dioxide.

According to the EPA, Prevention of Significant Deterioration applies to “new major sources or major modifications at existing sources for pollutants where the area the source is located is in attainment or unclassifiable with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).”

At the time, Johnson’s memo was cast as a mea culpa that the greenhouse gas problem was simply too big for the EPA to solve on its own, that it required Congressional action.

In its new move, the EPA says it will “vigorously review the Johnson memo to ensure that it is consistent with the Obama Administration’s climate change strategy and interpretation of the Clean Air Act.”

In early February, Attorneys General from 18 states signed a letter asking the EPA to enforce laws to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

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