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GHG Reporting ‘Threatens Trade Secrets’

Navajo stationMandatory greenhouse gas reporting could force companies into giving away trade secrets, chemical and energy companies are warning.

These sectors already report GHG data, but EPA rules under development may require them to report information used to calculate GHG emissions, such as production volumes or amount of raw materials used, the Hill reports. Lorraine Gershman, director of environmental, regulatory and technical affairs at the American Chemistry Council, says this data could be “reverse-engineered” to reveal trade secrets. Last week representatives from DuPont, Marathon Energy, Dow Chemical, Eastman Chemical and ExxonMobil met with the EPA to discuss the issue. And even the Federal Trade Commission has expressed concerns, saying that the disclosures could lead to collusion.

In a few months, energy companies should find out whether they’ve won concessions in another EPA battle. The agency has sent its revised GHG emissions rule for new power plants to the White House, Politico reported yesterday. And while the contents aren’t yet known publicly, the rules may be significantly weaker than the 2012 draft (delayed since April of this year).

President Obama has set a publication deadline of September 20 for the new power plant rule.

Tamar Wilner is Senior Editor at Environmental Leader PRO.

Picture credit: EPA

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