The public has two more days to weigh in on whether the Environmental Protection Agency should regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. In July, the Bush administration was supposed to issue a plan on how the government would respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA, which found that emissions could be regulated if EPA determines they pose a threat to public health and welfare.
The EPA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in July, but rather than coming up with a final decision, the agency decided to extend the comment period for four months, which will likely delay action on emissions to the next administration.
Comments can be submitted by e-mail, fax, snail mail, or they can be delivered by hand. See the EPA site for more information. The Alliance for Climate Protection is also asking people to submit comments through their site by Friday’s deadline.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that the Bush administration is encouraging allies to submit comments arguing against regulating emissions. The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs e-mailed sympathetic mayors around the country reminding them that the comment period is almost over and making it clear that the Bush administration does not want to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.
“At the time, President Bush warned that this was the wrong way to regulate emissions. [House Energy and Commerce Committee] Chairman John D. Dingell called it ‘a glorious mess.’ And many of you contacted us to let us know how harmful this rule would be to the economies of the cities and counties you serve,” said the e-mail. The message links to a blog post from a U.S. Chamber of Commerce VP warning that a cap on greenhouse gases “will operate as a de facto moratorium on major construction and infrastructure projects.”
Also on the topic of regulations, Politico reports that liberal groups are working together to identify and defeat any last-minute efforts by the Bush administration to slip various regulatory changes through the system before Jan. 20. Several enviro groups are involved, including the Sierra Club and the Natural Resource Defense Council.
Among the regulations targeted by the group are a rule that would allow federal agencies to determine on their own whether their policies will threaten endangered species, rather than requiring them to go through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for approval. Regulations opening land in the West to oil shale development, mountaintop removal and new abortion restrictions are among other regulations and rules under scrutiny.