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EPA's comment period on GHG regulation under CAA goes through the looking glass

On July 11, 2008, EPA released its advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on potential regulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) under the Clean Air Act (CAA), as noted in a prior post. Thereafter, the notice was published in the Federal Register. 73 Fed. Reg. 44,354. The notice provided for a 120-day comment period. On Nov. 14, 2008, EPA rejected a petition from the National Association of Manufacturers (and seven other organizations) requesting additional time for the submittal of comments, citing to the "unprecedented" scope of the proposed rule-making; EPA noted the unusually lengthy comment period that was provided to support its rejection. Even so, EPA then said it would accept comments even after the comment period closed on Nov. 28. "Contrariwise," continued Tweedledee, "If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."

  • The coal-fired power generators are the largest greenhouse gas emitters.  The investment climate will be much more difficult under stricter environmental regulations.  The coal industry is concerned that the focus on stringent greenhouse gas laws will severely curtail their industry.  The fear is that the climate change policy would destroy the U.S. coal industry that has been a pillar of energy generation for many years.

         The cap and trade legislation will motivate carbon capture and sequestration for coal-fired power plants.  There is a basic risk that, absent such technology, new construction of traditional coal-fired power plants would not be possible.  One critical problem is that long term predictions about submarine or underground sequestration or storage tightness are difficult and uncertain.  The CO2 could leak from the storage and ultimately appear in the atmosphere    A detailed discussion of global warming issues may be reviewed at      Clean coal is an umbrella term used in the promotion of the use of coal as an energy source by focusing upon new methods to reduce its environmental impact.  These efforts include chemically washing minerals and impurities from the coal, gasification, treating the flue gases with steam to remove sulfur dioxide and carbon capture technologies to capture the carbon dioxide from the flue gas.  These methods and the technology used are described as clean coal technology.  The coal industry and its supporters use the term clean coal to describe technologies designed to enhance the efficiency and the environmental tolerability of coal extraction, preparation and use, with no specific limits on any emissions, particularly carbon dioxide.