Thursday, January 6, 2011

Conservative John Locke Foundation files objections over EPA's greenhouse gas reg

Posted By on Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 10:25 AM

OK, so: The EPA is attempting to regulate greenhouse gasses — which the U.S. Supreme Court says they have the right to do. But, businesses who emit greenhouse gases aren't thrilled since the regulations could force them to seek permits and add additional air pollution controls to their plants — which costs money and takes time. But, the regulations are on hold because the North Carolina-based conservative think tank John Locke Foundation, and others, filed a handful of objections. And now we wait.

Here's more from the Greensboro News & Record and The Charlotte Observer:

The Environmental Protection Agency defined the heat-trapping gases as pollutants in 2009. That meant emissions would be regulated for the first time, starting last Sunday.

But the EPA took a second step that is in limbo in North Carolina. The agency ruled it would focus solely on the largest gas emitters, such as coal-fired power plants.

The state Environmental Management Commission adopted the EPA rule. But objections, filed largely by the Raleigh-based John Locke Foundation, put a legal hold on them.

That leaves the state with only a broad-brush mandate that's already in effect. Taken literally, it means up to 50,000 N.C. businesses, including office buildings and small industries, would have to get greenhouse gas permits if they build new facilities or expand old ones. State regulators estimate compliance costs at more than $490 million a year.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases fall under the Clean Air Act, which the EPA enforces. But the Locke Foundation is among critics that insist the EPA has no authority to regulate the gases.

The delay is for 30 legislative days. After that point, the rule goes into effect unless legislators approve a bill to change it. Legislators convene Jan. 26.

Read the rest of this article here

Further reading:

Scientist proves conservatism and belief in climate change aren't incompatibleThe L.A. Times

"MIT professor Kerry Emanuel is among a rare breed of conservative scientists who are sounding the alarm for climate change and criticizing Republicans' 'agenda of denial' and 'anti-science stance.'"

But, who needs facts and clean air when you've got profit margins to consider?

For those of you who haven't been paying attention, here's how the greenhouse effect works:

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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