APGA backs bills to stop EPA's GHG program

A trade association representing 720 municipally and publicly owned natural gas distributors expressed its support for legislation aimed at halting the US Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Mar. 16 -- A trade association representing 720 municipally and publicly owned natural gas distributors expressed its support for legislation aimed at halting the US Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

“In our view, Congress never intended the CAA to be used to control [GHGs] which do not manifest their impacts in the same manner as the pollutants controlled by the act,” said American Public Gas Association Pres. Bert Kalisch.

“Efforts to address [GHG] emissions will have wide-ranging and significant impacts upon US energy consumers, the energy industry, and the economy as a whole,” Kalisch wrote in a Mar. 15 letter to congressional leaders. “For this reason, it is APGA’s position that efforts to reduce [GHG] emissions must be resolved by Congress alone.”

EPA has said that it is formulating GHG regulations in response to a 2007 US Supreme Court finding that the emissions are covered under the CAA if threaten public health and the environment. EPA issued such an endangerment finding on Dec. 7, 2009.

US Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.), the Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s ranking minority member, introduced a disapproval resolution with 85 cosponsors on Jan. 21 aimed at stopping EPA so Congress can address the matter. Opponents say that her bill and others which have been introduced in the House as well as the Senate would create a dangerous precedent of lawmakers overturning a regulation which is based on a scientific finding.

“Only the legislative process can provide for thorough consideration of the resources that should be undertaken to reduce [GHG] emissions, including taking full advantage of the benefits the direct use of natural gas could provide in terms of overall emissions reduction,” said Kalisch.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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