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Program Will Ensure Greater Accuracy & Completeness

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today asked for further public comment on its revised guidelines for voluntary reporting of greenhouse gas emissions, sequestration and emission reductions. The program was established by section 1605(b) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and will help fulfill President George W. Bush’s directive that DOE enhance its voluntary reporting program to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions while improving the accuracy, verifiability and completeness of emissions data reported to the Federal Government. 

"These revised guidelines represent another significant step in our broad national effort to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of the U.S. economy, and address the risk of global climate change,” Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman said. “With the help of a wide range of stakeholders, we have improved upon our earlier effort to provide a clear and transparent accounting system that will encourage increased participation in voluntary efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a cost-effective way.”

The revised guidelines emphasize the importance of providing a full accounting of all domestic and international greenhouse gas emissions, sequestration activities and emission reductions. The revised guidelines also include “state-of-the-science” guidance and tools for estimating emissions from agricultural, forestry, and conservation activities important for carbon sequestration efforts.

The revised guidelines will enable the Department of Energy to recognize those participants in the program that provide an accurate and complete accounting of their greenhouse gas emissions and activities to reduce, avoid and sequester their greenhouse gas emissions.  Under the revised guidelines, utilities, manufacturers and other businesses that emit greenhouse gases will be able to register their emission reductions achieved after 2002 if they also provide entity-wide emissions inventory data.

The guidelines reflect careful consideration of the many comments received from states, industry and environmental groups during the numerous stakeholder reviews and meetings conducted by the interagency group, which included the Departments of Energy, Agriculture, and Commerce, along with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the Office of Management and Budget.

DOE also issued a public Notice of Inquiry, established a website to distribute background analyses and receive stakeholder comments, held four public workshops (USDA hosted two additional workshops on agricultural and forestry issues), and met with numerous stakeholder groups.

The guidelines will be published in the Federal Register for a 60-day public comment period and are expected to become effective 180 days from publication.

Two public workshops are planned to discuss these latest revisions to the guidelines. The first, to be held in late April, will address the full scope of issues raised by the guidelines. The second workshop, scheduled for early May, will focus on those issues raised by the agricultural and forestry sections of the guidelines.  

More information on these workshops and on the guidelines being released today will be available at: www.pi.energy.gov/enhancingGHGregistry/.  

Those wishing to offer comment on the proposed guidelines can do so by emailing: 1605bguidelines.comments@hq.doe.gov.

Media contacts:
Mike Waldron, 202/586-4940
Drew Malcomb, 202/586-5806