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Senators May Support Small Business Greenhouse Gas Reporting Requirements In Energy Bill

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Washington, DC, April 24, 2002-Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) may support provisions being debated and voted on the Senate floor on Thursday that would force hundreds of thousands of businesses to measure and report their total greenhouse gas emissions.  The global warming section of Majority Leader Tom Daschle's energy bill, S. 517, creates a mandatory registry of all greenhouse gas emissions.  According to an initial analysis by the Department of Energy, 500,000 to one million businesses would be subject to the new reporting requirements.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

 

Under a proposed amendment (#3239) sponsored by Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Jon Corzine (D-NJ), the registry would be voluntary for the first five years, but then would be made mandatory under an automatic trigger provision.  The Brownback-Corzine amendment would require businesses to report direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions.  Although farmers and feedlots are exempt from the requirement in the Brownback-Corzine amendment, adding indirect emissions would mean that many hundreds of thousands of additional businesses would be forced to record and report their emissions.

 

A competing amendment (#3146) to be offered by Senators Chuck Hagel (R-NE), George Voinovich (R-OH), Larry Craig (R-ID), and Frank Murkowski (R-AK) would replace the mandatory registry with a voluntary registry and voluntary programs to reduce greenhouse gases.  CEI supports adoption of the Hagel-Voinovich amendment.

 

"The purpose of the registry proposals in Daschle's bill and in the Brownback-Corzine amendment is to produce a list of 'climate change criminals' that environmental groups can target for public embarrassment and greenmail,” said Myron Ebell, director of global warming policy at CEI.  "For many small to medium-sized businesses, the reporting requirements will be expensive and require them to hire experts to measure their emissions.  Businesses failing to comply will be subject to $25,000 per day fines.  It is up to Senator Gregg to decide whether small businesses across New Hampshire should have hefty fines hanging over their heads.”

The principal greenhouse gas produced by human activity is carbon dioxide, which is produced when coal, gasoline and other petroleum products, and natural gas are burned.  President Bush has rejected mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and supports a voluntary registry.

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, visit our website at www.cei.org or email the communications department at pr@cei.org.