Past Seminar

Climate Policy Under the Clean Air Act

Mar 3, 2010 Video

About the Event

Climate Policy Under the Clean Air Act
RFF First Wednesday Seminar
March 3, 2010

While Congress continues working on new climate legislation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to identify a regulatory strategy under the existing Clean Air Act. EPA has finalized an “endangerment finding,” after determining that greenhouse gases (GHGs) are a threat to public health and welfare, and will soon issue regulations for vehicle emissions. Regulations on stationary sources, such as power plants and industrial facilities, will not be far behind and President Obama has proposed significant funding for these efforts in his 2011 budget. Meanwhile, legislation has been proposed in Congress that would remove EPA’s authority to regulate GHGs and cancel the endangerment finding.

What will the policy impact of these moves be? Our panel focused on EPA regulation under its Clean Air Act authority. If EPA does regulate stationary sources, what will that look like? What kinds of sources will be regulated, and how? Will it be possible for regulation under the Clean Air Act to include emissions trading, offsets, and other policies that would make GHG regulation more efficient? However EPA chooses to regulate GHGs, it is likely to face litigation. What issues might such action involve? In short, can EPA build climate policy under its existing authority?


Video, Audio and Transcript

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  • Phil Sharp, Fellow, The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs; former President, RFF
  • Arthur G. Fraas, Visiting Fellow, Resources for the Future
  • Nathan Richardson, University Fellow