CLIMATE CHANGE ROUNDUP: Business Group Aims at EPA Greenhouse Authority

By Published On: February 19, 2010

Challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s claim to regulatory authority over greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sued the federal government over its use of the Clean Air Act February 12. “The wrong way” to reduce greenhouse emissions is to use the EPA’s enforcement authority under the Act, according to Steven Law, the business group’s general counsel. He stated that doing so is “overreaching” and impacts the economy. Law claims EPA is “misapplying” the environmental statute. The California Chamber of Commerce is on a different tack from its U.S. counterpart. According to the organization, it is determining how to implement the state’s climate change law, AB 32. * * * * * The U.S. Climate Action Partnership--in which Pacific Gas & Electric has played a prominent role--lost three big corporate members February 16. Departing were BP, ConocoPhillips, and Catepillar. USCAP’s goal is swift passage of federal carbon cap-and-trade legislation designed to cut greenhouse gases while fostering economic growth. * * * * * A Black & Veatch survey of utilities nationwide found that carbon emissions remain the dominant environmental concern for the electricity industry. Yet 75 percent see that coal will play a major role in providing power once “fiscal realities are fully considered.” The majority of respondents said they expect some form of carbon legislation to be in place by 2012, but more than 70 percent did not favor the carbon cap-and-trade system Congress is considering. Some 52 percent of the respondents believed that the nation cannot afford carbon legislation.

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