Wyoming lawmakers want state regulation of greenhouse gases.
The Billings Gazette reports:
A legislative committee on Saturday took the first step toward giving Wyoming control over the regulation of greenhouse gases in the state.
The bill, to be introduced next week by the Joint Interim Committee on Minerals, Business and Economic Development, authorizes the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality to begin work on regulations that would amend Wyoming’s Clean Air Act to give the state primacy over sources that otherwise would be regulated by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
The state currently regulates nongreenhouse gases while the EPA regulates greenhouse gases.
The state cannot start regulating greenhouse gases until the Legislature triggers the regulations through separate legislation next year or until a federal court rules on Wyoming’s claims in a pending lawsuit against the EPA.
The Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, set binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and Europe for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Since then, as a result of a court decision, the federal government has been regulating carbon dioxide emissions.
The desire to put the state in charge has been building over a period of time, Lockhart said.
The current system of dual permitting — getting permits from the EPA and the DEQ for projects that generate greenhouse gases — “isn’t satisfactory to anyone, including the federal government,” Lockhart said.
Several industry representatives testified about cases in which a company had to wait as long as eight years to get an air quality permit from the EPA… [Emphasis added]