“A Guide to Greenhouse Gas Regulation – July 2007 Update”
June 2007 marked another month of incremental, but significant, activity for greenhouse gas (“GHG”) regulation. Building on the work done in previous months, federal and state governments appear intent on establishing GHG emissions caps, encouraging the development of new energy sources, and setting environmentally friendly performance standards.
On the federal level, in addition to the introduction of more specific energy bills, both the House and the Senate moved closer to passing comprehensive energy legislation. On June 21, 2007, the Senate approved the final version of its broad energy legislation, which addresses energy efficiency standards, carbon capture schemes, biofuel usage, corporate average fuel economy (“CAFE”) standards, and price gouging, among others. Shortly thereafter, on June 28, 2007, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled the House’s comprehensive energy package. Though similar to the Senate bill in some respects, the House bill seeks to revoke tax breaks to the oil industry and goes further than the Senate bill in terms of appropriations and environmental goals.
Among the states, New Jersey took a monumental step by becoming the second state in the country to pass a law creating mandatory reductions in GHG emissions statewide. Meanwhile, California continued to work on legislation concerning waste heat reduction for utilities and GHG reductions in the transportation sector, while New York focused on promoting energy efficiency through its legislation.
Regional developments were more muted. Maine enacted legislation to guide its implementation of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and the Western States Governor’s Association called for increased federal funding for carbon sequestration technologies and renewable energy investment.
This July 2007 Update to Stroock’s Guide To Greenhouse Gas Regulation discusses the significance of GHG-related legislative and other newsworthy developments taking place across the country through the end of June 2007.