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Enviros Say Feds Gave Coal a Free Pass

MANHATTAN (CN) - Environmentalists say that last year's greenhouse gas reporting rule does not cover enough ground. They want the EPA ordered to enforce mandatory reporting from coal suppliers, which produce 29 percent of annual greenhouse gases in the United States, according to the federal complaint. The Environmental Defense Fund wants mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions, "in all sectors of the economy of the United States."

The 330,000-member group says such reporting is necessary in the fight against climate change.

The Appropriations Acts of 2008 required the Environmental Protection Agency to complete a comprehensive greenhouse gas reporting rule by June 26 of that year. The Environmental Defense Fund says that in February 2009, Congress chided the EPA for missing the deadline, telling it to "redouble its efforts" and get it done by that June.

But a final rule - issued in October that year - failed to include mandatory reporting for all the proposed sectors, including coal mines, coal suppliers, food processing, industrial landfills and wastewater treatment systems, among others.

This violated the Administrative Procedure Act and the Clean Air Act, the group says. It cites the 2007 Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, which led to the EPA's recent finding that greenhouse gases endanger the environment and public health.

Represented by Deborah Goldberg of EarthJustice, the group wants a mandatory reporting rule for all economic sectors.

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