Obama Sets Guidelines for Climate Review in Agency Decisions

(Bloomberg) — The Obama administration proposed guidelines

that require agencies to consider climate change in reviewing of

government actions, the latest of a string of environmental

directives after Democrats lost control of Congress.

The Council on Environmental Quality in the White House

issued the long-delayed plan for treating greenhouse-gas

emissions today. It won’t exempt any individual project on the

ground it won’t change overall trends of climate change.

“Diverse individual sources of emissions each make

relatively small additions to global atmospheric GHG

concentrations that collectively have huge impact,” according

to the council’s guidance.

Following midterm elections that cost Democrats control of

the Senate, President Barack Obama issued orders to protect the

environmental that have drawn fire from Republicans. Obama

reached a landmark deal with China to control greenhouse-gas

emissions, and his Environmental Protection Agency proposed far-reaching rules for cutting down on smog. The EPA is set to issue

long-delayed rules for the handling of coal ash tomorrow.

The guidance issued today would apply in required

environmental reviews that federal departments and agencies

conduct before they make decisions, such as approving a pipeline

or rejecting a land-use plan. The guidelines may cover highway

construction, government grants, coal sales from federal lands

or timber leasing.

The first plan proposed in 2010 was stalled in a White

House review as Republicans and industry groups warned that it

could further complicate the process of getting government

approvals.

The council today said projects that release emit carbon

equal to the exhaust of about 5,000 automobiles would be subject

to the climate review.

The administration said it would accept comments for 60

days before issuing a final version.

To contact the reporter on this story:

Mark Drajem in Washington at

mdrajem@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:

Jon Morgan at

jmorgan97@bloomberg.net

Steve Geimann

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