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EPA Delays Deadline for GHG Reporting

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is extending the reporting deadline for greenhouse gas emissions from large emitters and fuel suppliers, originally set for March 31.

It did not specifically mention the date of the new deadline, but said that the final tool for companies to upload their data will be available this summer.

“To ensure that the requirements are practical and understandable to the thousands of companies already registered to report under the program, the agency is in the process of finalizing a user friendly online electronic reporting platform,” the EPA said.

“Following conversations with industry and others, and in the interest of providing high quality data to the public this year,  EPA is extending this year’s reporting deadline – originally March 31 – and plans to have the final uploading tool available this summer, with the data scheduled to be published later this year,” the agency added.

The EPA said the extension will allow it to further test the system and give industry a chance to test the tool, become familiar with it, and provide feedback to the agency. It said it will provide more detail on these changes in coming weeks.

Opponents’ attacks on the EPA greenhouse gas regulations have intensified in recent months. On February 19, the House of Representatives passed federal spending legislation that included an amendment sponsored by Texas Republicans Ted Poe, Joe Barton and John Carter, denying 2011 funds for the regulations. The spending bill also cut billions of dollars from the EPA’s budget.

When EPA head Lisa Jackson appeared at a hearing held by the Energy and Commerce Committee, Republicans grilled her on the necessity and potential harmful effects of the agency’s greenhouse gas limits.

“Needless to say, the Chinese government and other competitors have no intention of burdening and raising the cost of doing business for their manufacturers and energy producers the way EPA. plans to do here in America,” Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said. “Our goal should be to export goods, not jobs.”

The agency’s regulations followed on from a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, which obliged the EPA to determine whether carbon dioxide emissions endanger human health and welfare.

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