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As Prepared for Administrator Johnson, Press Conference Call Regarding Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

07/11/2008
I want to thank you all for joining me on this call.

Today, EPA released an Advance Notice of Proposed rulemaking, or ANPR, soliciting public input on effects of climate change and the potential ramifications of the Clean Air Act in relation to greenhouse gas emissions.

This ANPR will allow EPA to have a better understanding of the consequences of regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act and inform Congress as it debates greenhouse gas legislation.

As you know, the US Supreme Court decided in Massachusetts v. EPA that greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles could be regulated under the Clean Air Act if they are determined to endanger public health or welfare.

Since the Supreme Court’s decision, EPA’s professional staff has prepared numerous analyses and policy alternatives regarding greenhouse gas effects and regulation under the Clean Air Act. In almost every instance this work has raised further questions of such importance that the scope of the task has continued to expand.

The ANPR reflects the complexity and magnitude of the question of whether and how greenhouse gases could be effectively controlled under the Clean Air Act. However, while this document summarizes much of EPA’s work, it does not address many concerns raised by other federal agencies. At this point, it is impossible to simultaneously address all of the agencies’ issues and continue to respond to our legal obligations in a timely manner.

The ANPR I signed today includes the entire document EPA submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for interagency review on June 17th. In addition, it also has the initial questions and concerns of other federal agencies. Paired with supporting documents, this ANPR is nearly 1000 pages in length.

One point is clear: the potential regulations of greenhouse gases under any portion of the Clean Air Act could result in an unprecedented expansion of EPA authority that would have a profound effect on virtually every sector of the economy.

While EPA’s staff has done an outstanding job making a square peg fit into a round hole, I believe the ANPR demonstrates the Clean Air Act is ill-suited for the task of regulating global greenhouse gases. Based on the analyses to date, pursuing this course of action would take decades and inevitably result in a very complicated and likely, convoluted set of regulations. If our nation is truly serious about regulating greenhouse gases, the Clean Air Act is the wrong tool for the job.

It is important to note that none of the view or alternatives raised in this ANPR represent Agency decision or policy recommendations. It is premature to do so. Rather I am releasing the ANPR for public comment and review. I encourage the public to understand the magnitude and complexity of the Supreme Court’s direction in Massachusetts v. EPA and comment on the many questions raised in the ANPR and federal agency views.

I am now happy to take questions.