The state of our government's raging debate about the future of climate change regulation is showcased in the EPA's Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPR”) released on July 11, 2008. This ANPR was released in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Massachusetts v. EPA. It sets forth dozens of options the EPA is considering to regulate greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions under the Clean Air Act in a multitude of industries. Through the ANPR, the EPA is seeking comments from the public on whether it should impose such regulations and how it should do so. Comments are due mid-November 2008. EPA is looking to gather information on a wide variety of legal and technical issues as it considers how to regulate GHGs.
In over five-hundred pages, the advance notice discusses “broad ramifications” of potential regulatory options and provides comments from several federal agencies including DOT, DOE, and Agriculture. Massachusetts v. EPA required the EPA to determine whether new motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions cause or contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health or welfare. Such a finding would trigger regulation of these sources under the Act. EPA discusses how a decision to regulate motor vehicle emissions would likely impact regulation of other sources of greenhouse gas emissions, including other mobile sources and stationary sources. EPA concludes that the Act is not ideally structured to regulate greenhouse gas emissions effectively and it invites comments about future climate legislation that may be needed to do so effectively.