EPA Extends Deadline for Reporting GHG Emissions

The Obama administration will delay a deadline requiring polluters to report their greenhouse gases from March 31 to later this summer.

 The Environmental Protection Agency says it is extending the deadline requiring thousands of businesses to report their greenhouse gas emissions.

The agency said on Tuesday it was moving the deadline from March 31 to later this summer, when it will have a user-friendly online electronic platform in place for companies to report their emissions. The EPA said it will provide more details on the changes in its Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program in coming weeks.

The reporting program was launched in 2009 to collect information on greenhouse gas pollution to inform future policy decisions.

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The trade group that represents oil refiners, which will have to report their emissions, said the delay would result in an accurate greenhouse gas database.

“Taking a little extra time to get this program right makes more sense than rushing to meet an artificial and inflexible deadline,” said Charles Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association. “We recognize the need for a quality reporting program.”

The American Chemistry Council also welcomed the delay. “Reporting done right requires a thorough understanding of the new rules, ample time for feedback and sufficient testing to ensure a high quality database,” Cal Dooley, the president and CEO of the council said in a release.

The reporting program is one aspect of the EPA’s plan to roll out more regulations on emissions of gases blamed for warming the planet.

Some polluters oppose the EPA’s regulations on greenhouse gas emissions saying that they will hurt jobs and the economy. They are pressuring Congress to temporarily delay or stop the agency from regulating the pollution.

Others, such as NRG Energy Inc., one of the country’s biggest electricity generators, want the agency to continue regulating so they can have more certainty about investing in new power generation capacity.

(Reporting by Tom Doggett and Timothy Gardner, Reuters)

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