EPA Moves Toward Limits on Greenhouse Gases

In what could be one of the most significant regulatory changes since its founding, the EPA has moved toward imposing limits on greenhouse gases with a finding that such gases now present a “serious problem . . . for future generations.” The move could have widespread environmental benefits apart from climate change in forcing more fuel efficient cars and greater limitations on power plants and industrial sources.

The EPA finding of endangerment prepares allows for the EPA to act if Congress fails to do so. The finding will unite powerful industry lobby groups for utilities, car manufacturers and others in seeking to delay or stop the change. More worrisome is the fact that such regulations take a ridiculously long time — even without such concerting opposition. That would mean that the new Administration could easily stop the process. The Bush Administration previously opposed moved to use the Clean Air At to address climate change, but the Supreme Court found that such regulations is allowed — requiring, however, the “endangerment finding” issued by the EPA.

Here is the release from the EPA:

WASHINGTON – On January 1, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will, for the first time, require large emitters of heat-trapping emissions to begin collecting greenhouse gas (GHG) data under a new reporting system. This new program will cover approximately 85 percent of the nation’s GHG emissions and apply to roughly 10,000 facilities.

“This is a major step forward in our effort to address the greenhouse gases polluting our skies,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “For the first time, we begin collecting data from the largest facilities in this country, ones that account for approximately 85 percent of the total U.S. emissions. The American public, and industry itself, will finally gain critically important knowledge and with this information we can determine how best to reduce those emissions.”

EPA’s new reporting system will provide a better understanding of where GHGs are coming from and will guide development of the best possible policies and programs to reduce emissions. The data will also allow businesses to track their own emissions, compare them to similar facilities, and provide assistance in identifying cost effective ways to reduce emissions in the future. This comprehensive, nationwide emissions data will help in the fight against climate change.

Greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, are produced by burning fossil fuels and through industrial and biological processes. Fossil fuel and industrial GHG suppliers, motor vehicle and engine manufacturers, and facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more of CO2 equivalent per year will be required to report GHG emissions data to EPA annually. This threshold is equivalent to about the annual GHG emissions from 4,600 passenger vehicles.

The first annual reports for the largest emitting facilities, covering calendar year 2010, will be submitted to EPA in 2011. Vehicle and engine manufacturers outside of the light-duty sector will begin phasing in GHG reporting with model year 2011. Some source categories included in the proposed rule are still under review.

More information on the new reporting system and reporting requirements: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ghgrulemaking.html

It is a great holiday gift for environmentalists and public health advocates. It is a particularly wonderful gift for our children who will bear the costs of these pollutants to a greater degree than ourselves.


171 thoughts on “EPA Moves Toward Limits on Greenhouse Gases”

  1. Sorry the last sentence got cut off.

    They instead use their own on-board precision redundant platinum resistance thermometers calibrated to a laboratory reference standard before launch.

    The last sentence means Hansen can’t fudge the data.

  2. The satellite data not land based temperatures are what needs to be watched. Again, isn’t it ironic that a space agency (NASA) uses
    land base temperatures vs the satellite record.

    Lets look at Dr. Roy Spencers latest report of Global Temps using satellite data shall we.


    The graph above represents the latest update; updates are usually made within the first week of every month. Contrary to some reports, the satellite measurements are not calibrated in any way with the global surface-based thermometer record of temperature. They instead use their own on-board precision redundant platinum resistance thermometers

    The last sentence means Hansen can’t fudge the data.

  3. Bdaman posted:

    [Me]:by the way, the fact that you post record lows but not record highs is a red flag – cherry picking is rarely a sign of intellectual integrity. If you actually wanted to provide evidence of cooling (which wouldn’t be evidence against climate change in any case) you would show that there are more record lows that there are record highs – which probably isn’t true, in any case..

    What a buffoon! [I know you are, but what am I?] In one single paragraph, you complains about what I do not provide, and say that even if I provided it, it wouldn’t prove anything. [I didn’t say that it wouldn’t prove anything, just that it wouldn’t be evidence of what you though it was – see below.] Thats your definition of intellectual integrity. [In my opinion, nothing about the preceding passage exhibited a lack of integrity – as I will discuss below, your constant posting of record lows is not sufficient to establish evidence for your cause.]

    Let’s look at how three different hypotheses would be supported or weakened by data of record temperatures.

    Global Warming – we would expect a greater than average number of record highs (especially during the summer months) and a lower than average number of record lows (especially during the winter months). This theory would be less likely if we found many record lows in the winter but few record highs in the summer.

    Global Cooling – just the opposite of warming, many winter lows and few summer highs, contradicted by evidence of warming.

    Climate Destabilization – this would make us expect more extreme temperatures – more summer highs and winter lows (especially places with both) with greater variation (not captured by a count of the number of record highs & lows) and fewer summer lows and winter highs. It would be disproven by evidence of more moderate temperatures.

    As you can see, not only do we need the full year data in order to select between these hypotheses, but we previous years data so we can tell if there is a difference before we’re able to say anything significant. Otherwise, the events that you are reporting are no more significant that me telling you that we just went into a local heating phase a couple of hours ago due to the rising of the sun…

  4. How do we know there’s a scientific consensus on climate change? Pundits and the press tell us so. And how do the pundits and the press know? Until recently, they typically pointed to the number 2500 – that’s the number of scientists associated with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Those 2500, the pundits and the press believed, had endorsed the IPCC position.

    To their embarrassment, most of the pundits and press discovered that they were mistaken – those 2500 scientists hadn’t endorsed the IPCC’s conclusions, they had merely reviewed some part or other of the IPCC’s mammoth studies. To add to their embarrassment, many of those reviewers from within the IPCC establishment actually disagreed with the IPCC’s conclusions, sometimes vehemently.

    The upshot? The punditry looked for and recently found an alternate number to tout — “97% of the world’s climate scientists” accept the consensus, articles in the Washington Post and elsewhere have begun to claim.

    This number will prove a new embarrassment to the pundits and press who use it. The number stems from a 2009 online survey of 10,257 earth scientists, conducted by two researchers at the University of Illinois. The survey results must have deeply disappointed the researchers – in the end, they chose to highlight the views of a subgroup of just 77 scientists, 75 of whom thought humans contributed to climate change. The ratio 75/77 produces the 97% figure that pundits now tout.

    Read more: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/12/30/lawrence-solomon-75-climate-scientists-think-humans-contribute-to-global-warming/#ixzz19hUq07Xd

  5. NASA’s James Hansen

    “..coal is the single greatest threat to civilization and all life on our planet. … The dirtiest trick that governments play on their citizens is the pretense that they are working on ‘clean coal’… The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death.”

    Dirty Coal, Clean Future


  6. Do you agree with the following statement?

    Humans are significantly altering the global climate, but in a variety of diverse ways beyond the radiative effect of carbon dioxide. The IPCC assessments have been too conservative in recognizing the importance of these human climate forcings as they alter regional and global climate. These assessments have also not communicated the inability of the models to accurately forecast the spread of possibilities of future climate. The forecasts, therefore, do not provide any skill in quantifying the impact of different mitigation strategies on the actual climate response that would occur.

    Yep I sure do. Please explain to me what the statement means to you other than Humans are significantly altering the global climate.

  7. Yay … I hear you.

    I’m up early to pick up my husband from the hospital. All New Years Eve plans are cancelled. Hey, we keep on keeping on.

    I’ll let you get back to your sparring … and I wish you a sincere better New Year

  8. According to a leaked email in “climategate,” computer programmer Harry Harris called the CRU data set “hopeless,” and said “the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was. […]This whole project is SUCH A MESS. No wonder I needed therapy!!”

    When looking at source code leaked in “climategate” used to “process” and “adjust” temperatures, software engineer John Graham-Cumming said he found at least five errors and “wouldn’t trust it”

    Speaking of Australia thats where your skeptical science blog originates from. They have the same battle goin on there.
    P.S. it’s snowing in the middle of summer in the Southern Hemi. This also should help drive down the month of December taking away 2010 being the Hottest on Record.

  9. Bda,

    I am so sorry.

    Hopefully your sister will go the D.O. route and your wife will forgive the disruption.

    Trying to please everyone is extremely difficult

  10. I spoke with my mom in law last night (Buffalo) streets are clear but snow is everywhere.

  11. Trust date night went fine and Mom is continuing to improve.

    Bluoise like global warming it could not be further from the truth.
    My wife and I are not doing well and I sent my mother back home after my wife said my mother was ruining her life. My moms o.k. but is back in the care of my sister who is an alcoholic. She means well and does provide good care when she’s not drunk. It is a work in process. Date night was a HUGE FIGHT.

  12. Please don’t bring the IPCC into the argument.

    Former IPCC lead author Ben Santer openly admits that he altered portions of the 1995 IPCC report to make them “consistent with the other chapters”

    Richard Lindzen, another lead author on the 2001 IPCC report, accused the IPCC of being “driven by politics”

    Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” graph, which was featured prominently in the 2001 IPCC report, was created using only portions of a data set.

    When asked to act as an expert reviewer on the IPCC’s last two reports, Dr. Nils Axel-Morner was “astonished to find that not one of their 22 contributing authors on sea levels was a sea level specialist”

    Until 2003, the IPCC’s satellite-based evidence showed no upward trend in sea level, so they used an increase of 2.3mm in one Hong Kong tide-gauge to adjust the entire global sea level up 2.3mm

    The IPCC’s claim that the Himalayan glaciers were melting was based off of a phone interview with a non-scientist. They were forced to retract the claim

    The IPCC claim that global warming was led to increased natural disasters was based on an unpublished report that had not been subject to peer-review. They were forced to retract the claim

    The IPCC’s claim that global warming was going to lead to deficiencies of up to 50% in African agriculture was based on a non-peer-reviewed and non-scientific paper. They were forced to retract the claim

    The IPCC’s claim that “up to 40% of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation” was based on a non-peer-reviewed and non-scientific paper. They were forced to retract the claim

    The IPCC reported that 55% of the Netherlands was below sea level when just 26% of the country is below sea level. They were later forced to retract the claim

    As far as not providing both stats

    Bdaman 1, December 14, 2010 at 8:31 am
    Hottest on record thread

  13. Bda,

    Trust date night went fine and Mom is continuing to improve.

    Deceptively mild here with some freezing rain … almost all traces of snow have disappeared. Further east friends are still digging out.

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