April 2009 – Could a Proposed Finding on Carbon Dioxide Emission Impact Your Company?

Facts:

On Friday, March 20, 2009 a proposed rule finding that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a danger to public health was submitted to the White House.  Approval could allow the EPA to use the Clean Air Act (CAA) to control emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases believed to contribute to climate change. Carbon dioxide will be treated as a pollutant and, therefore, be regulated as such by the government.

The Obama Administration has proposed a cap-and-trade system that could raise $646 billion by 2019 through government auctions of emission allowances.  The proposed finding will pressure Congress to enact a system that caps greenhouse gases, which are believed to trap the sun’s heat in the earth’s atmosphere, and creates a market for business to buy and sell the right to emit them.

What is the Impact?

Some key facilities that could be impacted include coal-fired power plants, oil refineries and domestic industries, such as energy-intensive paper, cement, fertilizer, steel, and glass manufacturers.  These industries, along with others, may see an increased cost burden imposed by climate-change laws.  Unless international laws take effect, this additional monetary burden could impact competition between U.S. companies and their international counterparts that are not bound by similar environmental rules.

Action:

Greenhouse gas emission regulation during this Administration is on the horizon for many facilities.  Companies should stay on top of this issue to determine if it will impact their operations. EHS Support will continue to monitor the developments and keep you informed on updates to these regulations.  For more information or for an analysis on how this regulation could impact your company, please contact Amy Bauer at 251-533-6949 or Amy.Bauer@ehs-support.com.

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