Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cleaner Air Ahead!

According to an article in today's New York Times, "The Environmental Protection Agency, about to declare heat-trapping gases to be dangerous pollutants, has embarked on one of the most ambitious regulatory challenges in history.

The move is likely to have a profound effect across the economic spectrum, affecting transportation, power plants, oil refineries, cement plants and other manufacturers. ...

Once made final, the agency’s finding will pave the way for federal regulation of carbon dioxide, methane and other heat-trapping gases linked to global warming. ... and ... could open the doors for regulatory controls on power plants, oil refineries, cement plants and other factories. ...

If finalized, the finding by the agency could lead to a vast extension of its reach. Much is unknown about the details of what the E.P.A. is proposing, including how stringently the agency would regulate the emissions and how it would go about doing so. ...

Experts said Monday that the E.P.A.’s action would put pressure on Congress to pass federal legislation that could supplant the agency’s plan or guide how it was carried out. A federal bill is preferred by many environmentalists and policy makers, as well as by industry.

John D. Walke, a senior lawyer at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said he welcomed the agency’s decision but hoped it would ultimately lead to federal legislation. ...

Earlier this month, the agency proposed creating a greenhouse-gas emissions registry, which would require industries— including oil refineries and cement makers, as well as utilities and pulp and paper manufacturers— to report how much pollution they were emitting. ...

Asked about the E.P.A.’s move, the White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, emphasized the importance of going through Congress. “The way to deal with greenhouse gases,” Mr. Gibbs said, “is to work with Congress in order to put together a plan that deals with this and creates a market for renewable energy.”

There are several reasons that there is a widespread preference for a legislative “cap-and-trade” approach to regulating carbon dioxide emissions, as opposed to E.P.A. regulation.

A central reason, said Paul Bledsoe of the National Commission on Energy Policy, is that Congressional action is less subject to litigation and could not be easily overturned by a new administration."

For a look at the air pollution drilling for gas is generating, see the following two posts with videos from Bluedaze:
1. Smoking Frack in the Barnett Shale?
2. Why is there so much smog in rural North Texas?

Let's do more than hope that the gas drilling industry loses its carte blanche and comes under these new regulations as well. Write to ALL your state and federal senators and representatives, urging them to eliminate the exemptions from responsible stewardship of our vital resources the oil and gas industry has been enjoying at our expense.

1 comment:

  1. It is comforting to read about even a glimmer of hope. I think we citizens have no choice but to get politically active. Activism is not a comfortable duty. It is tiring. It is daunting. And elected officials will make every attempt to discredit anyone who challenges the gas industry. Are we strong enough and persistent enough to do it?



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