EPA Wants More Sectors to Report Emissions

EPA Wants More Sectors to Report Emissions

Image CC licensed by Flickr user richardmasoner

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed forcing additional sectors, including oil and natural gas producers, to report their greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 2012.

Already 31 industry sectors covering 85 percent of U.S. emissions must report their 2010 emissions next year, under the nation's first mandatory reporting requirement finalized in October.

The new reporting requirement proposed this week would extend to industries that emit potent fluorinated gases, such as sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons. It would also include facilities that inject carbon dioxide underground for sequestration or oil and gas recovery. The oil and natural gas sector, which emits a lot of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, would also be brought into the fold.

"Gathering this information is the first step toward reducing greenhouse emissions and fostering innovative technologies for the clean energy future," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a statement Tuesday. "It's especially important to track potent gases like methane, which trap more than 20 times as much heat as carbon and accelerates climate change. Once we know where we must act, American innovators and entrepreneurs can develop new technologies to protect our atmosphere and fight climate change."

The EPA will hold public hearings on the proposals April 19 and 20 in the Washington, D.C. area, in addition to the standard 60-day comment period.

The new additions to the reporting rule would begin collecting emissions data in 2011 if it is finalized, and begin reporting in 2012. Facilities that emit more than 25,000 tons of CO2-equivalent must begin reporting their 2010 emissions data next year, including cement kilns, power plants and oil refineries.

Image CC licensed by Flickr user richardmasoner.