In comments filed last month with the Environmental Protection Agency, IDFA reiterated its belief that the Clean Air Act (CAA) is not the proper vehicle for regulating greenhouse gas emissions. While reaffirming support for efforts that will enhance energy efficiencies and reduce air pollution, IDFA urged EPA to work with Congress to develop an alternate approach for regulation.
In April 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the Clean Air Act authorizes EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions if EPA determines the emissions could cause air pollution that may endanger public health. In December 2008, EPA issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to question how greenhouse gases might be controlled under the Clean Air Act. IDFA filed comments then, opposing the proposed rule.
Two years after the court's decision, EPA signed a proposed "endangerment and cause finding" for greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. Early last month the agency finalized the finding, saying that these emissions do threaten public health. The finding does not impose requirements on industry, but the action is a prerequisite to the creation of new regulations.
"Our industry has been working hard to find ways to improve the energy efficiencies associated with technologies used in our facilities, offices and vehicles," the comments stated. "While we move forward with our voluntary initiatives, we are concerned that an ill-conceived regulatory scheme will drive resources toward regulatory compliance instead of innovation. As a result, an effort to regulate greenhouse gasses using the CAA will prove to be counterproductive and could hinder efforts to address this issue."
Instead of "forcing an old regulatory scheme on a new problem," EPA should work with Congress to identify and develop new proposals that would be more efficient and effective, the comments concluded.
- Read IDFA's comments here.
- Read the EPA's proposed rule and call for comments here.
For more information, contact Clay Detlefsen, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and counsel, at email@example.com or (202) 220-3554.