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C02 Control: By Legislation or Regulation?
By Films For Action / filmsforaction.org
May 12, 2009
As of last Monday, the Kansas Governor, Mark Parkinson, traded a 900MW coal fired plant for a tepid state energy policy, and the Legislature went along.  The agreement first of all forces the Secretary of KDHE to issue Sunflower Electric an air quality permit, and it also limits his authority to issue air quality regulations beyond the Federal EPA guidelines.  In return, it creates a true 1:1 bidirectional net metering, but ONLY for investor-owned utilities, not for rural electric co-ops of small municipal utilities.  The agreement also establishes a Renewable Energy Standard (RES), but with a meager goal of 20% by 2020.  More detail at GPACE analysis of Governor’s coal plant agreement.

Meanwhile, from the critique of West Coast Climate Equity, "The Waxman Markey bill has been amended (and weakened) to require only a 14 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, and this is from 2005 levels, not the 1990 levels called for by the Kyoto Accord.  It means that the U.S. will now join the conservative Canadian Harper Government in implementing an ineffectual program that will do almost nothing to reduce carbon dioxide emissions." Waxman-Markey Bill Dooms Us to Dangerous Climate Change.

So what's left?  Regulation - command and control: the very hard fisted and expensive method that industry hates.  And the EPA holds the cards.  Based on the 2007 Supreme Court decision, the EPA ruled on 17 April 2009 that greenhouse gases are a health hazard, and they have full authority to regulate CO2 and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.  Read the brief at EPA Could Create a Cap-and-Trade System Without Congress.

The EPA is taking comments until 17 June 2009 whether they should regulate CO2.  But Big Oil and Big Coal are spending millions and waiting in line to keep the EPA from implementing strong regulations.  Anyone can send the EPA comments by going to Support the EPA's Stand Against Big Oil and Coal   
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C02 Control: By Legislation or Regulation?