Even as the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee mucks around procedurally with the Kerry-Boxer bill, the Environmental Protection Agency is marching ahead with proposed regulations to restrict carbon dioxide. As the NAM’s new EPA website — www. nam.org/epa — explains:

On September 30, 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its proposed “tailoring rule” and outlined its regulations for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from large industrial facilities. The EPA proposes to issue permits under its so-called “Prevention of Significant Deterioration” program, in which facilities such as manufacturing plants, power plants and refineries would be required to demonstrate they are using the best technologies to minimize GHG emissions.

This proposed rule is the EPA’s first step toward regulating carbon emissions from large stationary sources that emit more than 25,000 tons of CO2. It also allows the EPA to immediately begin considering lowering the threshold of GHG emissions at their discretion, further expanding the organization’s scope to regulate hospitals, libraries and even American homes. For a manufacturer, it could mean doing something as simple as adding a “plant shift” to the schedule would trigger EPA regulation.

As we’ve noted before, the EPA’s proposal is also a clear case of a regulatory agency trying to set policy by ignoring the statutory requirements for under the Clean Air Act, which is to apply to facilities emitting between 100-250 tons. Regulatory agencies don’t write the law.

The NAM’s website — www.nam.org/epa –includes a draft letter to the EPA, background materials, and a count-down to the deadline: 54 days and counting.

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