Carbon Dioxide May Be Regulated By Clean Air Act
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by Kevin Maddaford on 03/27/2009
The EPA is considering classifying carbon dioxide as a pollutant.
In a move that reverses policy from the Bush administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that greenhouse gases have negative impacts on human health and welfare, and thus should be considered pollutants. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the leading greenhouse gas (GHG), and as such it could be regulated under the Clean Air Act.
Any regulation of CO2 would affect carbon-heavy industries such as steel production and utilities, as well as possibly limiting vehicle emissions. By proposing CO2 regulation under the Clean Air Act, the Obama administration is keeping its options open in case Congress fails to introduce a cap-and-trade system.
The proposal may be effective in reducing CO2 emissions, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warns that such regulation would limit or effectively end the myriad infrastructure projects included in Obama's stimulus package, with severe consequences for the economy.
You can read more about this proposal on the Environmental Leader website here.
If utilities face a cap on their CO2 emissions, it will force them to look for energy sources that are less carbon-intensive, namely renewables. Whether through EPA regulation, a cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax, the regulation of CO2 will further drive changes in the way we produce energy in the U.S. ~Kevin
Kevin Maddaford is the Consumer Services Manager and Resource Development Associate at Renewable Choice Energy.