News Date: 09/09/2009
Late last week Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson stated her intention for EPA to regulate greenhouse gases under federal clean air laws should congress fail to pass climate change legislation. In an interview on NPR last week, Jackson added that it was “an open legal question” as to whether EPA can create a cap and trade system via the Clean Air Act.
Meanwhile, climate legislation in the Senate that was expected to be introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and John Kerry (D-MA) as early as this week will likely be delayed. After clearing the House earlier this year, efforts to pass climate change legislation in the Senate have taken a backseat to the healthcare debate and have been delayed by differing perspectives provisions in the House-passed climate legislation. The bill’s introduction in the Senate is not expected until at least the end of September.
While the Supreme Court recently ruled that the EPA does have power to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, it is unclear whether the agency has the power to allow polluters to buy and sell rights to emit greenhouse gases under a cap-and-trade system. Jackson cited this uncertainty in prodding Congress to pass cap-and-trade legislation. (By: Ethan Mathews, Policy Contact: Nathan Bowen or David Hickey)
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