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April 5, 2010
Volume 88, Number 14
p. 9

Climate Change

EPA Lays Out Plans To Cut Co2, Other Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Jeff Johnson

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EPA took two steps forward last week in its attempt to use the Clean Air Act to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.

First, on March 29, EPA finalized an earlier decision to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources, such as chemical companies and electric power plants. On a phased schedule starting next January, companies that emit pollution in large amounts will be required to include plans to cut CO2 and other greenhouse gases as part of their Clean Air Act permits. But the agency is just now developing the details of the regulations with which companies must comply.

The American Chemistry Council, a trade association, is “deeply concerned and disappointed” in the decision and the lack of clarity over what will be required. In a statement, it urged Congress to delay these regulations. Currently, several bills have been introduced in Congress to block the agency from using the act.

In part, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson agrees with those bills, saying on several occasions that she would prefer Congress to enact comprehensive climate-change legislation to cut CO2, rather than rely solely on EPA’s Clean Air Act authority.

In another move by EPA, Jackson announced on April 1 that the agency has finalized Clean Air Act regulations requiring automakers to cut vehicular CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions beginning with model year 2012. Under the regulation, by 2016, gasoline-fueled light-duty vehicles would average 35.5 mpg, 40% higher than today.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society
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