Now some state regulators have joined in the chorus of naysayers worried about proposed rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Oil, gas and coal have long opposed the EPA's greenhouse gas emissions endangerment finding and the proposed rules to regulate them. Some legislators including Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, have stepped up efforts to curb the agency's power. The opposition from states has added to the pressure against the EPA.
A growing number of states, including clean energy-focused California, are worried proposed federal rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will overwhelm them with paperwork and undermine their own efforts to fight climate change. It should be noted, however, most states still support the EPA's proposed rules. Their concerns stem primarily from how quickly these rules will be rolled out and have asked the Obama administration to take a "go slow" approach.
Here's a roundup of recent EPA and Interior Department regulatory announcements:
- Last month the EPA laid out its plan to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The proposal grew out of the EPA's finding in November 2009 that GHGs are a danger to public health. The endangerment finding was sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget to be reviewed within 90 days. If approved, the EPA will likely issue rules to regulate GHGs under the authority of the Clean Air Act.
- The EPA proposed last week additional rules to reduce smog -- also known as ground-level ozone. At the center of the proposal is a reduction in the primary "standard" from 0.0075 parts per million to between 0.060 and 0.070 ppm measured over eight hours. BNET Auto blogger Jim Motavalli noted the new rules will likely lead to cleaner cars too.
- The EPA announced Dec. 30 the establishment of a "chemicals of concern" list along with an action plan that could create restrictions on four types of synthetic chemicals used in manufacturing and consumer products. Among them is an action plan for phthalates, which makes plastic flexible and is used for toys and household products.
- And then there was the Interior Department's highly anticipated proposed rules for how the government issues oil and gas leases on federal lands. In short, there will be more review on proposed drilling sites, including site visits and more opportunity for public comment before leases are awarded to oil and gas companies. Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar got in a few jabs at the oil and gas industry during last week's announcement calling them, at one point, the 'Kings of the World.'
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