Marlo Lewis: How Absurd Is Regulating Greenhouse Gases through the Clean Air Act?

How Absurd Is Regulating Greenhouse Gases through the Clean Air Act?
by MARLO LEWIS on SEPTEMBER 27, 2011

Pretty darn near the height of absurdity. That’s not just my opinion. It’s a key premise of EPA’s “Tailoring Rule,” which exempts small greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters from regulation under the Clean Air Act’s (CAA) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) pre-construction permitting program and Title V operating permits program.

As EPA explains in a brief filed last week with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, once the agency’s GHG emission standards for new motor vehicles took effect on January 2, 2011, “major stationary sources” of GHG emissions became “automatically subject” to PSD and Title V permitting requirements. A facility with a potential to emit 250 tons per year (tpy) of a regulated air pollutant is a “major source” under PSD. A facility with a potential to emit 100 tpy is a “major source” under Title V. Whereas only large industrial facilities emit 100-250 tpy of smog- and soot-forming air pollutants, literally millions of small entities — big box stores, apartment and office buildings, hospitals, schools, large houses of worship, Dunkin’ Donut shops – use enough natural gas or oil for heating or cooking to emit 100-250 tpy of carbon dioxide (CO2). (Cooler Heads)

One response to “Marlo Lewis: How Absurd Is Regulating Greenhouse Gases through the Clean Air Act?

  1. The tailoring rule actually uses two arguments to support its enforcement.
    1: Absurd Results – The results of literal interpretation of the law are absurd
    2: Step by Step – We cannot immediately enforce the law, so we start with the biggest and then work our way into compliance.

    When you read it the first time, it makes sense, like a police chief’s plan to crack down on drugs in a sytematic manner. However, these are contradictory. We are to start rationally, where even some chemical plants aren’t included, and then we are going to go step by step into the mouth of madness.

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