U.S. Chamber of Commerce Petitions Federal Court to Review EPA GHG Ruling

by | Feb 15, 2010

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emissions-3The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is asking a federal court to review the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ruling in December that greenhouse gases is a health risk under the Clean Air Act, reports Business Week. Opponents to the “endangerment finding” say it will hurt the economy and eliminate jobs, according to the article.

“Today the Chamber is filing a formal petition indicating it will challenge EPA’s decision to trigger Clean Air Act regulation, based on lapses in EPA’s process in making that decision,” stated Steven J. Law, chief legal officer and general counsel of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a press release.

In September last year, Thomas Donahue, president and CEO of the chamber, stated that it would be preferable for the U.S. to have climate legislation, as opposed to the EPA regulating CO2 emissions as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

In January, Donohue said the House-passed legislation, which would create a greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade system and set renewable energy targets, would result in a double-dip recession and eliminate jobs.

Industry officials and analysts say that because of the way the Clean Air Act is written, state, local and federal regulators and courthouses may be flooded with new permit applications and legal cases, reports the Wall Street Journal. They say that up to six million facilities could be subject to the potentially costly greenhouse gas controls, according to the article.

The Chamber has lost several high-profile companies including PG&E, PMN, Exelon, Apple and Mohawk Fine Paper due to the organization’s stance on climate change. Nike, in protest, gave up its chamber board seat.

The Obama Administration has used the threat of EPA regulation to spur Congressional action. The EPA decision will allow the agency to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions from industrial sources such as power plants and factories, reports Business Week.

In January, it was reported that U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was expected to introduce an amendment that would prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) under the Clean Air Act. Three Democrats — Senators Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Ben Nelson of Nebraska — joined her last month, reports Business Week.

The EPA has proposed a “tailoring rule” that would limit the new regulations to large emitters for at least the first half-decade, reports the Wall Street Journal.

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