Washington, DC -- Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) issued the following statement after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program today.  Rep. Engel introduced his Greenhouse Gas Accountability Act in 2007, which required companies to report greenhouse gas emissions, something he considered an essential first step in a comprehensive policy to combat climate change.  The provision was later included in the 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush.

“In order to combat global warming, we have to know the ‘what and where’ of the greenhouse gases we are emitting, who is emitting them, and data on where in the economy it makes sense to regulate.  Now we have this program and it will enable us to begin crafting a national energy policy to halt the advance of global warming.  We came so close to such a comprehensive reform in 2009, and I believe we can make the necessary changes to accomplish our goals of bringing our energy policy out of the 20th Century and into the future.

“Climate change affects us all equally – Democrat and Republican, East and West Coast, Americans and the rest of the world.  We cannot ignore it and it is too important to play politics with, as happened in 2009 when reform efforts fell victim to politics.  This registry is one piece of the bridge that will take us from where we are today to where we must be tomorrow.  I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to revisit energy legislation in the near future so we can enact real change.”

Rep. Engel’s legislation resulted in the creation of the greenhouse gas registry to serve as a clearinghouse for accurate and comprehensive information on greenhouse gas emissions nationwide..  The 2008 law required data reported directly from large facilities and suppliers to be made public through the EPA. According to the EPA, The Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program data provides a critical tool for businesses and other innovators to find cost- and fuel-saving efficiencies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and foster technologies to protect public health and the environment.  The 2010 data released this week includes public information from facilities in nine industry groups that directly emit large quantities of greenhouse gasses, as well as suppliers of certain fossil fuels and high global warming gases.

Rep. Engel is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power.