EPA Moves to Cool Rhetoric on Carbon Regulations

If the Environmental Protection Agency regulates global warming pollution from something as small as a car, won’t that mean it will need to regulate just about everything that emits carbon dioxide?

It’s a reasonable question, and today the EPA has delivered a very clear answer:

U.S. EPA has sent a draft rule to the White House that could limit regulations on greenhouse gas emissions to cover only very large industrial sources.

The agency yesterday submitted a rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget that experts say will likely limit strict permitting requirements to industrial sources of more than 25,000 tons a year of carbon dioxide equivalent.

David Bookbinder, chief climate counsel at the Sierra Club, said the rule would also deflect claims from Republican lawmakers and industry groups that the Obama administration is seeking to regulate small emission sources such as doughnut shops, schools and nursing homes.

“Putting this rule in place deflates a lot of the political rhetoric about regulating CO2,” he said.

As David Bookbinder mentions, pro-polluter forces have been trying to exploit the uncertainty around this rule to scare people into opposing the change we need in our national energy policies. Hopefully this draft rule will help cool that hyperbole.

The National Wildlife Federation will be going all-out this fall to make sure the Senate follow in the House’s footsteps to pass strong clean energy & climate legislation. By passing comprehensive legislation that deals with both clean energy and climate together, Congress can create the most clean energy jobs and make greater reductions in oil dependency while cutting greenhouse gas pollution.

Published: September 1, 2009