Question on HR 5744 Covered Entities

Hello--I would appreciate more information about what types of facilities or activities would be included in the fourth category of covered entities in this bill:  “(4) any entity or class of entities which, as determined by the Secretary, is transporting, selling, or otherwise using a covered fuel in a manner which emits a greenhouse gas to the atmosphere and which has not been covered by the carbon fee or the carbon border fee adjustment.”  When trying to sell this bill I can easily explain the first three covered entities--oil refineries/importers, coal mining/importing, and natural gas extraction/importing--but I'm not really sure yet what is covered by this fourth category of covered entities.  Thanks for any help on this.

6 Replies
Brett Cease
3636 Posts

Thanks @Charles Haeuser! Copying our strategy and research team here to help you out: @Richard Knight @Dana Nuccitelli @Tony Sirna 

@Charles Haeuser, this is a deep-in-the-weeds question that we tried to decipher since the first iteration of EICDA. It seems to be a catch-all category to broaden coverage beyond the other 3 categories so that upstream emissions will not be left out. For example, the operator of a gathering line network which may leak methane to the atmosphere could be covered under this clause. Or a compressor at a drilling site that burns gas or oil and thus emits CO2 could be covered. Not quite sure why “selling” is included – it could be to cover any loopholes where a fossil fuel producer might be able to sell their raw fuel to some entity that seeks to evade the carbon fee.

I will try to contact Ross Astoria, our legislative language expert, to verify this.

Thanks very much, Richard. I know that if I were taking this bill to a state legislature committee or a city council they would be all over me with questions about what this catch-all would include.

Tex Haeuser

Sent from my iPhone
John Gage
144 Posts

@Richard Knight - Some groups in NH are fighting the introduction of “Advanced Recycling” in the state, which allows burning up to 50% of the garbage (e.g. plastic) to generate electricity.  I'm interested in what you discover about this fourth category because it would be wonderful to be able to tell those NH groups that the carbon in that plastic would be included in that fourth category.

Hi John,
Yeah, there's advanced recycling and there's "advanced recycling." Unfortunately, this catch-all term includes things that could be beneficial and things that are more dubious. Burning plastic waste for energy is probably better in some respects than just piling it up in a landfill -- at least it generates electricity -- but it's not at all a boon for the climate because it's putting fossil CO2 right back into the atmosphere. There are other advanced recycling methods that de-polymerize the plastics into components that can be turned into new plastics or other products that don't get burned, and that could be positive, especially for plastics like polystyrene that can't (or won't) be mechanically recycled. 
But using the term "recycling" for just burning the stuff to generate electricity is a misuse of the term. If we can ever get a carbon fee over the hump, this process should definitely be subject to that fee. In the meantime, it should be made clear that plastic waste is a fossil fuel, and if it gets burned, nobody should be fooled by calling it "recycling." I don't know if CCL should oppose it, but we certainly should not support it.
It was great hearing from you, John, after having participated in that D.C. lobbying meeting with you. I see there’s been a response to your post. Hope you’re doing well,
Tex Haeuser

Sent from my iPhone

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