Climate Change Policy Update - April 12, 2010

Profession:Van Ness Feldman
 
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Article by Kyle Danish, Shelley Fidler, Kevin Gallagher, Megan Ceronsky and Tomás Carbonell

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Commentary

EPA is aiming to issue its final version of the Tailoring Rule by the end of April. Assistant Air Administrator Gina McCarthy voiced assurances that carbon capture and sequestration would not be a required technology . . . There will be a meeting of the Major Economies Forum on April 18-19. With a smaller group of just the highest-emitting countries, can the MEF make more progress than the Copenhagen talks, or the more recent session in Bonn? . . . Majority Leader Reid reportedly told Sen. Kerry to have a climate change bill within a couple of weeks or Reid will bring the SENR-passed energy bill to the floor, and, procedurally, the climate bill would then have to be offered as an amendment . . .

Executive Branch

U.S. Climate Envoy Announces Major Economies Meeting for April 18-19. Todd Stern, the U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change, announced that delegates of the 17 members of the Major Economies Forum would meet in Washington, DC on April 18-19 for discussions on six major international climate change issues. These six issues include: mitigation, transparency, financing, technology, forests, and adaptation. The Major Economies Forum is an informal diplomatic venue for countries with the world's highest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and is independent of the formal negotiating process held under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In the wake of the near-collapse of the negotiations at the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen in December 2009, some observers have said that more progress might be made in the Major Economies Forum discussions. EPA Aims for Release of Tailoring Rule By End of April. Gina McCarthy, Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said that the agency expects to release its long-awaited "Tailoring Rule" by the end of April or shortly thereafter. Proposed in September 2009, the Tailoring Rule would establish a timetable for phasing in the application of the Clean Air Act's Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V permitting programs for GHG emissions from stationary sources. Title V of the Clean Air Act requires stationary sources to obtain operating permits for emissions of regulated pollutants; the PSD program requires new and modified sources to obtain preconstruction permits and install "best available control technology" for each pollutant that is "subject to regulation" under the Clean Air Act. Under an EPA regulatory interpretation released April 2, both programs will apply to GHG emissions beginning on January 2, 2011, when the agency's new vehicle GHG standards take effect. Although EPA has yet to release guidance on "best available control technology" for GHGs, McCarthy said that the agency would not require carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology for every facility subject to PSD. McCarthy said that the agency's regulations will "mov[e] forward already...

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