A Guide to Greenhouse Gas Regulation – October 2007 Update

September 2007 activity in the greenhouse gas (“GHG”) regulation arena was concentrated largely at the state level, as Congress was gearing up following its summer recess. While many lawmakers were busy easing back into things, some took advantage by promising new bills and proposals. These ranged from Rep. John Dingell’s proposed federal carbon tax legislation to Rep. Rick Boucher’s upcoming cap-and-trade legislation. Significantly, notwithstanding the fact that both chambers of Congress have passed comprehensive energy bill packages, a bicameral conference to reconcile the differences between H.R. 6 and H.R. 3221 remains unscheduled.

Action by the Executive Branch also was limited. The White House hosted a global warming summit for the leaders of 17 nations plus the United Nations, where opportunities for reducing GHG emissions were identified in various economic sectors and the participants expressed their countries' individual GHG reduction goals.  Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), issued new construction permits that intentionally omit any GHG restrictions and announced potential changes to its New Source Review standards.

In the absence of comprehensive federal initiatives in the GHG arena, many states took action to fill the void. This included California’s new early action GHG reduction measures and the New York Attorney General’s subpoenas seeking more information about corporate carbon disclosures.

Regional activity in September was muted, with Alaska joining the Western Climate Initiative as an observer.

This October 2007 Update to Stroock’s Guide To Greenhouse Gas Regulation provides a review of significant events in the area of GHG regulation through the end of September 2007.

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