Last week, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) began the final review stage for new automobile standards that would increase the nation’s fleetwide fuel economy and create the first-ever greenhouse gas (“GHG”) regulations for cars and trucks. The proposed automobile standards are on track to be finalized by the end of March.
While the automobile standards do not directly regulate stationary sources of GHG emissions, EPA regulation of GHG emissions from mobile sources will trigger regulation of GHG emissions from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration (“PSD”) permit program. Because of this, EPA also is expected to issue its “tailoring” rule by the end of March, which will attempt to limit GHG regulation under the PSD program to larger stationary sources. That rule was also sent over to OMB last week. EPA’s reconsideration of the so-called “Johnson Memorandum,” which affects the timing of when GHG regulation will begin under the PSD program, is also at OMB for final review. OMB review typically takes 2-3 weeks. As previously reported, EPA Administrator Jackson has recently indicated that the tailoring rule and Johnson Memorandum reconsideration, when issued, will reflect a phasing-in of GHG control requirements over the next several years.
For more, see recently published Advisories on Fifth Circuit Grants Rehearing En Banc in Comer Climate Change Tort Litigation and http://www.troutmansanders.com/another-week-more-developments-on-epa-regulation-of-ghgs-03-08-2010/