United States federal register of greenhouse gas emissions
The United States federal register of greenhouse gas emissions is established by the United States Department of Energy under the Energy Policy Act 1992. It is administered by the Energy Information Administration through the Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program.
Separately, the Environmental Protection Agency in 2009 commenced implementing a mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, which applies to facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more per year.
Even though the United States has not adopted the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol, it has still made significant progress in establishing the ground work to one day having a viable working model that will meet the needs of a market driven cap and trade system for the accounting and valuation of carbon credits. The key to such a system is a transparent and easy to understand protocol that includes establishing common standardized accounting practices that can be consistently applied in a verifiable manner. These best practices must be open and easy to apply in a cost effective manner in order to become accepted. These protocols will need to include not only accounting and reporting requirements, but also quantification standards and verification procedures. Right now the leaders in the establishing of these protocols are a varied and diverse group of organizations. We have attempted to review the compliance procedures of these various groups. As The United States moves forward with its own plan for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, it may move from the current voluntary reporting model to regulatory limits and a market mechanism to promote reductions. In the meantime numerous states have started the process of setting their own emission goals, many of which include specific regulatory requirements.
The Energy Policy Act of 1992
Section 1605(b) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPACT) directs the Department of Energy, with the Energy Information Administration (EIA), to establish a voluntary reporting program and database on emissions of greenhouse gases, reductions of these gases, and carbon sequestration activities (42 U.S.C. 13385(b)). Section 1605(b) requires that DOE's guidelines provide for the "accurate" and "voluntary" reporting of information on: (1) greenhouse gas emission levels for a baseline period (1987–1990) and thereafter, annually; (2) greenhouse gas emission reductions and carbon sequestration, regardless of the specific method used to achieve them; (3) greenhouse gas emission reductions achieved because of voluntary efforts, plant closings, or state or federal requirements; and (4) the aggregate calculation of greenhouse gas emissions by each reporting entity (42 U.S.C. 13385(b)(1)(A)-(D)). Section 1605(b) contemplates a program whereby voluntary efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can be recorded, with the specific purpose that this record can be used "by the reporting entity to demonstrate achieved reductions of greenhouse gases" (42 U.S.C. 13385(b)(4)).
1605B Voluntary Reporting
In 2002 the President of the United States directed the Departments of Energy (DOE) and Agriculture (USDA) to revise the system for reporting and registering reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (United States Department of Energy, 2005). The reporting program was originally authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 Section 1605(b) and is often referred to as the “1605(b) program.”
Because of concerns with the growing threat of global climate change from increasing emissions of greenhouse gases, Congress authorized a voluntary program for the public to report achievements reducing those gases. This document offers guidance on recording historic and current greenhouse gas emissions, emissions reductions, and carbon sequestration. Under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992 Section 1605(b) program, reporters will have the opportunity to highlight specific achievements.
If you have taken actions to lessen the greenhouse gas effect, either by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions or by sequestering carbon, the Department of Energy (DOE) encourages you to report your achievements under this program. The program has two related, but distinct parts. First, the program offers you an opportunity to report your annual emissions of greenhouse gases. Second, the program records your specific projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration. Although participants in the program are strongly encouraged to submit reports on both, reports on either annual emissions or emissions reductions and carbon sequestration projects will be accepted.
These guidelines and the supporting technical documents outline the rationale for the program and approaches to analyzing emissions and emissions reduction projects. Annual emissions and emissions reductions achievements are reported to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the Department of Energy.
- Climate change in the United States
- The Climate Registry
- Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
- Western Regional Climate Action Initiative
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- "Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program: Data and Reports". Energy Information Agency. Retrieved 2011-10-17.
- "Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program". Energy Information Agency. Retrieved 2011-10-17.
- "Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program". Climate Change - Regulatory Initiatives. Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 2011-10-17.