Chamber of Commerce Opposes Regulation of GHGs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act will have devastating costs on businesses of every size, farmers, the economy, and jobs, according to "A Regulatory Burden: The Compliance Dimension of Regulating CO2 as a Pollutant," a report released Sept. 16 by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"The Chamber's report concludes that over one million mid-sized to large commercial buildings in the industrial, commercial, and agricultural sectors could potentially become subject to a costly and bureaucratic permitting process if EPA moves forward with its proposed rulemaking," said William Kovacs, vice president of Environment, Technology, and Regulatory Affairs at the U.S. Chamber. "It's not just the large manufacturers that would bear the burden of regulation this time. It's the little guys: the hotel you stayed at this weekend, the bakery where you bought your donuts, the office building you work in, even the church you take your family to on Sunday."

The Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the agency in July suggests that EPA believes it can regulate CO2 emissions from a wide range of sources, all under the guise of the Clean Air Act. Such regulation would trigger a provision in the Act called "Prevention of Significant Deterioration," or PSD.

Ten years ago, Mark P. Mills of Mills, McCarthy & Associates analyzed the number of new businesses that would become subject to Clean Air Act regulation by EPA should CO2 become subject to the act. Mills updated these data and results from his groundbreaking original study for the Chamber report, which provides sector-by-sector data on the broad range of industries that would be affected by EPA's proposal. "The PSD process is not an easy one. PSD for pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act can take months or years and cost millions of dollars," Kovacs continued. "Nobody is prepared for PSD for CO2, which will cover so many new, previously-unregulated buildings that the entire system could buckle under its own weight.

"PSD could ultimately serve as a deterrent to new construction and new business in this country and would be yet another blow to an economy that is already running on fumes," Kovacs added. The report "reveals yet another compelling reason for Congress to step in and pass legislation preventing the trigger of Clean Air Act regulation of greenhouse gases."

To view the report, visit http://www.uschamber.com/publications/reports/0809_CO2report.htm.

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