epa-greenhouse-gasesThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed amendments to Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) requirements in an attempt to address industry concerns over revealing confidential business data.

The GHGRP collects greenhouse gas data from forty-one source categories to “help us better understand where greenhouse gas emissions are coming from and improve our ability to make informed policy, business, and regulatory decisions,” according to the EPA. Calculating emissions within many industries involves equations that require detailed data, much of it considered confidential by the affected industry. Under current rules, such data would be categorized as “inputs to emission equations” and have to be reported and made public.

However, after industries, such as oil and gas – which was the second biggest emitter of carbon dioxide behind the power generation industry – expressed concern over data confidentiality, the EPA sought out a potential solution. The EPA’s proposed amendments would create an alternative, electronic reporting method to obtain and verify confidential data without storing or making it public.

Do the EPA’s proposed amendments address industry concerns? Is it possible to regulate this area without making the relevant inputs open to the public?