Tuesday, January 12, 2010

States Hypocritical On Climate Change?

Some states are complaining about proposed EPA climate change regulations at the same time many states brag about the success of their climate change cap and trade programs. We do not see how any of the states in the Northeast or California can complain about possible EPA regulations, when they already have operating programs. One would think that the states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Iniaitve (RGGI) and California would be happy to incorporate their current programs into the federal model. The Center is registered in the RGGI program.

Some state regulators are urging the Obama administration to slow the rollout of proposed federal rules curbing industrial greenhouse-gas emissions, saying the administration's approach could overwhelm them with paperwork, delay construction projects and undercut their own efforts to fight climate change. Regulators from around the U.S., including Kansas, Pennsylvania, Florida and California, are calling on the EPA to go slowly with its new rules, and in some cases warning that they lack funding to regulate some of the new emissions sources that would be covered. How can Pennsylvania and California complain when they encourage such regulation when they are already designing and operating their own programs.

In a Dec. 24 letter to the EPA, the California Energy Commission, which oversees energy policy in the state, said the EPA's proposal:

"will likely retard, rather than facilitate,"
reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions from its electricity sector. Huh? California has been leading the charge to implement climate change programs.

A central issue is EPA's 'Tailoring Rule' proposal to require facilities emitting at least 25,000 tons of greenhouse gases a year to obtain construction and operating permits. The EPA relies on states and local agencies to administer air-quality permits, and its proposed emissions threshold is high enough that it will effectively exempt small businesses, such as farms and restaurants. The Center wants 'anyone' to able to hold and trade CO2 allowances and offsets. And we agree with the WSJ quote from Sierra Club Chairman Carl Pope:

"The fact that the Clean Air Act permitting authority is not a particularly good way for dealing with my backyard barbecue...does not mean that we should not have a Clean Air Act permit on...major fossil-fuel power stations."
(WSJ, 1/12/10)

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