Thursday, October 18, 2007

First Step Towards Cutting US Gasoline Use by 20% by 2017

EPA Will Meet 2008 Deadline To Issue Emissions Rule
Dean Scott, The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., Washington, DC, October 12, 2007

EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson pledged that the agency will propose regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles and light trucks by the end of 2007, with final rules completed in 2008. The rulemaking is expected to expand the use of renewable and alternative fuels, call for increased vehicle efficiency, or mandate some mixture of those approaches.

Johnson said EPA continues to work with other federal agencies, including the Transportation Department, on the emissions regulations but said he has made no decisions on how EPA will proceed. Johnson noted that the transportation sector accounts for approximately one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, second only to electric power generation.

Johnson also said that EPA will have to consider if it should also regulate the capture and storage of carbon dioxide, or carbon sequestration. The technology would help the US, China, and other coal-rich nations to continue their reliance on coal to produce electricity. According to Department of Energy figures, the US has approximately a 250-year supply of coal available given current coal prices and rates of consumption, and coal-fired power plants, which produce nearly half of US electricity, are expected to continue to do so through 2050.

There is no existing regulatory regime, either at the federal or state level, for regulating long-term carbon and capture storage efforts, therefore, EPA may have to consider regulatory approaches given the environmental concerns and technical complexities of one day storing large amounts of carbon dioxide underground.

Read the complete article at Bureau of National Affairs.

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