Air pollution regulators in the San Francisco Bay area have voted overwhelmingly to approve new rules that impose fees on businesses for emitting greenhouse gasses.
A spokeswoman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District says the agency’s board of directors voted 15-1 on Wednesday to charge companies 4.4 cents per ton of carbon dioxide they emit.
Experts say the fees, which cover nine counties in the Bay Area, are the first of their kind in the country.
This sets a very dangerous precedent. The regulation not only considers carbon dioxide to be “pollution”, but it also calculates fees based on CDE (carbon dioxide equivalent) and on GWP (Global Warming Potential).
Regulation 3 states:
3-334 Greenhouse Gas Fees: Any permitted facility with greenhouse gas emissions shall pay a fee based on Schedule T. This fee is in addition to permit and other fees otherwise authorized to be collected from such facilities, and shall be included as part of the annual permit renewal fees.
For each permitted facility emitting greenhouse gases, the fee shall be based on the following: 1. Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CDE) Emissions $0.044 per metric ton
Emissions calculated by the APCO shall be based on the data reported for the most recent 12- month period prior to billing. The annual emissions of each greenhouse gas (GHG) listed below shall be determined by the APCO for each permitted (i.e., non-exempt) source. For each emitted GHG, the CDE emissions shall be determined by multiplying the annual GHG emissions by the applicable Global Warming Potential (GWP) value. The GHG fee for each facility shall be based on the sum of the CDE emissions for all GHGs emitted by the facility, except that no fee shall be assessed for emissions of biogenic carbon dioxide.
* Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Second Assessment Report: Climate Change 1995).
** GWPs compare the integrated radiative forcing over a specified period (i.e., 100 years) from a unit mass pulse emission to compare the potential climate change associated with emissions of different GHGs.
Just to put a couple of the other GWP values (according to the table) into perspective:
- GWP for Methane is 21, 1 ton = $9.21
- GWP for Nitrous oxide is 310, 1 ton = $136.40
- GWP for HFC-23 is 11,700, 1 ton = $5,148.00
- GWP for Sulfur Hexaflouride is 23,900, 1 ton = $10,516
Of course these are “in addition to permit and other fees otherwise authorized to be collected from such facilities,”
I wonder how long it will take to see water vapor emissions taxed and for other areas to jump on the “global warming fee” bandwagon?