Photo via Dallas News
In a promising new development, the EPA has announced for the first time that intends create a comprehensive, national system for reporting CO2 emissions. The system will require around 13,000 facilities, or 85-90% of all the places generating greenhouse gases, to report their emissions—and would be a huge step towards realizing the agency's goal of regulating carbon dioxide emissions.
The proposed system, which is slated to have the first annual emission reports due by 2011, would mark great progress in effectively assessing industry generated emissions. Ideally, it could provide an important roadmap for moving towards better CO2 regulation, and will be absolutely necessary if and when Obama's Cap and Trade plans come to fruition. Basically, it shows that the EPA means business.
But how will it work? (from the EPA)
The new reporting requirements would apply to suppliers of fossil fuel and industrial chemicals, manufacturers of motor vehicles and engines, as well as large direct emitters of greenhouse gases with emissions equal to or greater than a threshold of 25,000 metric tons per year. This threshold is roughly equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from just over 4,500 passenger vehicles.The main targets would of course be the worst CO2 spewers:
The direct emission sources covered under the reporting requirement would include energy intensive sectors such as cement production, iron and steel production, and electricity generation, among others.
The move has, as should be expected, impressed environmental groups. David Doniger of the NRDC says: “The EPA is laying the foundation for strong action on global warming this year. Accurate monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gases will provide the vital framework for an effective program to cap and reduce America's global warming pollution."
Indeed it shall—let's hope this emboldened EPA keeps on rolling. So far, so good.