EPA could create U.S. CO2 cap-and-trade: Sierra
Tue Sep 8, 2009 6:45pm EDT
By Peter Henderson
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would step in and regulate carbon dioxide emissions by creating a cap-and-trade system or take other measures if Congress fails, but is likely to wait for 2010 elections, the head of the Sierra Club said on Tuesday.
The possibility of an end-run around Congress makes the prospect of U.S. carbon emission regulation likely despite current legislative debate, although President Barack Obama would prefer Congress lead the way, Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope told the Reuters Global Climate and Alternative Energy Summit in San Francisco.
"I would guess that between now and the (2010) midterms, you will see two things happen. One, EPA will begin actively regulating all of the other kinds of problems with coal fired power plants," Pope said, naming mercury emissions, particulate matter and mountaintop removal mining as examples.
"They will begin to create a context in which all the clunkers (coal plants) are going to get retired anyway. And they will lay the ground work for establishing carbon emissions standards for all large sources of carbon dioxide," he said. Read More
There is a very simple solution to all of the problems surrounding climate change legislation and that is for Congress to pass a one sentence bill that states carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. That would make this whole thing disappear and it would be in line with the original intent of the Clean Air Act. Even the original writers of that legislation said that they never intended for carbon dioxide to be regulated. Regardless of all that, it appears that the EPA will try to go around Congress and decide for themselves how to do this if the current legislation doesn’t go anywhere in the Senate. It’s obvious that people do not want cap and trade because if they did the free market system would already be meeting that demand.