Press Releases

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) today applauded the move by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to finalize the reporting requirements for a new economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions registry, an essential first step towards a national cap-and-trade system. The draft rule-making was announced on March 10, 2009.

Senators Feinstein and Boxer were the lead authors of a provision that provided $3.5 million to the EPA for the agency to develop and publish a rule establishing a greenhouse gas emissions registry for all sectors of the U.S. economy. The measure was signed into law as part of the Fiscal Year 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 110-161). Senators Klobuchar and Snowe also introduced legislation in the 110th Congress that would authorize a greenhouse gas registry with specific parameters.

“This new national registry will reveal the full extent of how much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are emitted by the key sectors of the U.S. economy. Beginning next year, large facilities will be required to track and report their emissions data to the EPA. This is the first crucial ingredient needed to establish a national cap-and-trade system to combat climate change,” said Senator Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and Environment.  “I applaud EPA Administrator Jackson for her leadership and commitment to helping the U.S. take the necessary steps to reduce our national carbon footprint.”

Senator Boxer, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, said: “Establishing a reliable accounting system for carbon emissions is a critical step in any program to address global warming. This registry will lay the foundation for effective reductions in greenhouse gas pollution.”

“This was the first bill I introduced in Congress and I am glad that the Administration recognized that we need to get this done,” Senator Klobuchar said. “In order to put a system in place to reduce greenhouse gases we must have an accurate way to monitor, verify and report greenhouse gas emissions. This registry is a crucial building block to the policy changes we need to make.”

“If the U.S. has no system for counting carbon emissions, there cannot be an effective method for reducing emissions,” Senator Snowe said.  “A national greenhouse gas registry is a necessary first step and a crucial precursor to both a mandatory and market-based carbon cap and trade regulation of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.  The European experience with an over allocation of allowances illustrated the fundamental nature of a registry and applaud the EPA for moving expeditiously to establish one here in the United States.”

Specifically, the registry will require suppliers of fossil fuels or industrial greenhouse gases, manufacturers of vehicles and engines, and facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year to submit annual reports to EPA. This will include approximately 13,000 large facilities.

Most small businesses would fall below the 25,000 metric ton threshold and would not be required to report GHG emissions to EPA.  Additionally, most emission sources from the agriculture sector will not be required to report emissions, except for fewer than 50 very large manure management systems EPA modeled that meet the threshold.

The first annual report will be submitted to EPA in 2011, for the calendar year 2010, except for vehicle and engine manufacturers, which would begin reporting for model year 2011. EPA would be responsible for verifying the data.