WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday proposed establishing a nationwide system for reporting greenhouse gas emissions, a program that could serve as the basis for a federal cap on the buildup of carbon and other gases linked to global warming.
The registry plan, which would cover about 13,000 facilities that produce between 85 and 90 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas output, was drafted under the Bush administration but stalled after the Office of Management and Budget objected to it because EPA based the rule on its powers under the Clean Air Act.
“Our efforts to confront climate change must be guided by the best possible information,” said EPA administrator Lisa Jackson in a statement. “Through this new reporting, we will have comprehensive and accurate data about the production of greenhouse gases.”
If adopted by the end of the year, the new rule could produce greenhouse gas statistics by the end of 2010. The EPA requirements would apply to large industrial sources that emit 25,000 metric tons or more a year, including oil and chemical refineries; cement, glass, pulp and paper plants; manufacturers of motor vehicles and engines; and confined animal feeding operations.
Most small business would fall below the emissions threshold and would not be required to report, EPA officials said.
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