You Can Tell the EPA to Regulate Carbon Emissions

mmm carbon-spewing oil refineries

But only until Friday.

What can and cannot be regulated is in fact heavily regulated. In April 2007 there was a Supreme Court decision called Massachusetts vs. EPA, in which it was decided that the EPA did in fact have the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, because they qualify as “polutants” under the Clean Air Act.

Actually, legally, the EPA now must regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, they still might not; the EPA could take years to draw up the rules, set the standards too low to have any effect, include the same sort of loopholes that we currently drive SUVs through in the fuel efficiency standards, or simply not enforce the resulting regulation.

But at least they’re currently asking for your feedback. They’ve put up a very official-looking page with the sassy title of Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act, wherein they announce their intention to respond to the court’s decision, and then provide about 600 more pages of material describing what the options might be. Both cars and “stationary sources” are potentially included, but the biggest issue is whether the EPA will set limits on the carbon emissions from newly manufactured cars, much as they already set fuel efficiency requirements. Then they ask for comments.

Anyway, it’s a mouthful. There’s a decent three-page factsheet, if you don’t want to get into the gory details of the full Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Also included on the web site are six pages of instructions on how to comment. Or, you can do this the easy way:

  • If you’re one of those who believe that global warming is real and dangerous and that industry just won’t take care of it without government leadership, you can use the convenient form over at the We Campaign.
  • On the other hand, if you take the recent financial meltdown as evidence that business does best when unfettered by communist regulations, and desire as does to “tell them NO on their jobs killing, economy busting plans to stop non-existent global warming,” there’s another convenient form over at StopEPA.

But you better do it soon, because the comment period closes Nov. 28th. Go comment. I bet Chevron already has.

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