As has been assumed for months, the EPA announced it will move forward with plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, but it will keep its focus on large emitters -- those that produce 25,000 tons or more of CO2 a year, like power plants and industrial facilities. Those large emitters account for 70 percent of the country's GHG emissions.
The administration is proposing the new rule to ensure that emissions will be reduced regardless of what happens with the climate bill in Congress, although the President believes a bill will be passed by the end of the year. It will also help to prove that the U.S. is serious about controlling emissions leading up to the climate conference in Copenhagen.
The rule will require around 14,000 power plants, refineries and industrial complexes to apply for construction and operating permits where they will have to prove they are using the latest and greatest technology to minimize emissions. Smaller businesses will be exempt from scrutiny because of the large emissions threshold.
The gases that the EPA will monitor under the rule are CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride. The rule could go into effect as soon as 2011.
via NY Times
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