Today, the EPA proposed a plan that will account for and report Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) for all major US emitters. The plan would cover up to 90% of all US based emissions and would serve as the basis for any proposed cap-and-trade emissions reductions system. As reported by the Washington Post:
“If adopted by the end of the year , the new rule could produce greenhouse gas statistics by the end of 2010. The EPA requirements would apply to large industrial sources that emit 25,000 metric tons or more a year, including oil and chemical refineries; cement, glass, pulp and paper plants; manufacturers of motor vehicles and engines; and confined animal feeding operations.”
Setting the bar for inclusion in this mandatory reporting at 25,000 metric tons means that virtually all small and medium sized businesses would not be required to report their emissions. Carbonfund.org, for example, estimates that many standard businesses with less than 20 employees are responsible for about 140 metric tons of CO2 a year. Businesses range in size and activity, but one can reasonably assume that most small and medium sized businesses not engaged in industrial practices would be under the reporting limit. A GHG reporting system is yet another step in the right direction for American action on climate change. By understanding our nation’s carbon footprint, our government will be able to intelligently devise a cap-and-trade system that will produce real world emissions cuts. To better understand your carbon footprint or to estimate your business’ GHG emissions, go to Carbonfund.org.