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 issue a draft rule-making to establish an economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions registry, an essential first step towards a cap-and-trade system to reduce emissions.

Senators Feinstein and Boxer were the lead authors of a provision that provided $3.5 million to the Environmental Protection Agency for the agency to develop and publish a rule establishing a greenhouse gas emissions registry for all sectors of the U.S. economy, no later than June 26, 2009. 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.

According to EPA, approximately 85-90 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, from approximately 13,000 facilities, would be covered by the proposed rule. The reporting requirements generally would apply to facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

“President Obama, in his first budget proposal, has laid out a framework for an economy-wide cap-and-trade system to curb our nation’s emissions, designed to take effect in 2012. But before we can implement the President’s proposal or any other cap-and-trade system, we need accurate reporting data on all major facilities that emit greenhouse gas emissions – and that is exactly what this registry would provide,” said Senator Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and Environment.  “I applaud EPA Administrator Jackson for taking this first important step in the fight against global warming.”

Senator Boxer, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, said: “A reliable accounting of carbon emissions is the first important step in any program to address global warming.  This registry lays the foundation for effective carbon emissions reductions.”

Senator Klobuchar said: “This was the first bill I introduced in Congress and I am glad that the new EPA recognized that we need to get this done.  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.”

Reporting Requirements

Following are the reporting requirements in the draft rule-making, as announced by EPA today: 

  • 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. 
    • 85-90 percent of total national U.S. GHG emissions, from approximately 13,000 facilities, would be covered by the proposed rule.
    • Most small businesses would fall below the 25,000 metric ton threshold and would not be required to report GHG emissions to EPA. 
    • In addition, most emission sources from the agriculture sector would 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 would 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. 
  • EPA estimates the average cost of reporting under this proposed rule would be approximately $0.04 per metric ton.