EIA to extend greenhouse gases form for one year

Oct. 2, 2003 — The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is soliciting comments on the proposed one-year extension to the Form EIA-1605, “Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases,” (long form) and the Form EIA- 1605EZ, “Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases,” (short form).

EIA is asking for comments by December 1, 2003.

The department is required to carry out a centralized, comprehensive, and unified energy information program which collects, evaluates, assembles, analyzes, and disseminates information on energy resource reserves, production, demand, technology, and related economic and statistical information.

This information is used to assess the adequacy of energy resources to meet near and longer term domestic demands.

The Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases collections are conducted pursuant to section 1605(b) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (Pub. L. 102-486, 42 U.S.C. 13385) under General Guidelines issued by the DOE’s Office of Policy & International Affairs.

These forms are designed to collect voluntarily reported data on greenhouse gas emissions, achieved reductions of these emissions, and increased carbon fixation as well as information on commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon in future years.

Please refer to the proposed forms and instructions for more information about the purpose, who must report, when to report, where to submit, the elements to be reported, detailed instructions, provisions for confidentiality, and uses (including possible nonstatistical uses) of the information. For instructions on obtaining materials, see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section below.

EIA will be requesting a one-year extension with no changes for the Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program, Forms EIA-1605 and EIA-1605EZ to ensure that a data collection instrument is in place while the Guidelines to the Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program are in the process of being revised.

A one-year extension, rather than a three-year extension, is being proposed because EIA anticipates significant changes to the data collection forms and data elements to result from the revisions to the program guidelines.

Revised Guidelines for the Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program

On February 14, 2002, President Bush announced a series of programs and initiatives to address the issue of global climate change, including a greenhouse gas intensity reduction goal, energy technology research programs, targeted tax incentives to advance the development and adoption of new technologies, and voluntary programs to promote actions to reduce greenhouse gases. In addition, the President directed the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, to propose improvements to the current Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program required under section 1605(b) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

These improvements are to enhance measurement accuracy, reliability, and verifiability, working with and taking into account emerging domestic and international approaches.

The President also directed the Secretary of Energy to recommend reforms to ensure that businesses and individuals that register reductions are not penalized under a future climate policy and to give transferable credits to companies that can show real emissions reductions.

The purposes of the proposed revised Guidelines are to: (1) establish revised procedures and reporting requirements for filing voluntary reports, and (2) encourage corporations, Government agencies, non-profit organizations, individuals and other private and public entities to submit annual reports of their total entity-wide greenhouse gas emissions, net emission reductions, and carbon sequestration activities that are complete, reliable and consistent.

On May 6, 2002 (67 FR 30370), the Department of Energy solicited public comments on various issues relevant to its efforts to implement the President’s directives.

After consideration of these public comments, the Secretaries of Energy, Commerce and Agriculture, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency wrote the President on July 8, 2002, stating that improvements to the existing Voluntary Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program should:

1. Develop fair, objective, and practical methods for reporting baselines, reporting boundaries, calculating real results, and awarding transferable credits for actions that lead to real reductions.

2. Standardize widely accepted, transparent accounting methods.

3. Support independent verification registry reports.

4. Encourage reporters to report greenhouse gas intensity (emissions unit of output) as well as emissions reductions.

5. Encourage corporate or entity-wide reporting.

6. Provide credits for actions to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as well as for actions to reduce emissions.

7. Develop a process for evaluating the extent to which past reductions may qualify for credits.

8. Develop a process for evaluating the extent to which past reductions may qualify for credits.

9. Factor in international strategies as well as State-level efforts.

10. Minimize transactions costs for reporters and administrative costs for the Government, where possible, without compromising the foregoing recommendations.

The DOE also held four public workshops (67 FR 64106) in the fall of 2002 to enable interested persons to discuss and provide comments on possible improvements to the program guidelines. Public comments submitted to DOE’s Office of Policy and International Affairs on possible revisions to the Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program Guidelines are available at http:// www.pi.energy.gov/ enhancingGHGregistry/index.html.

Process for Finalizing and Implementing Revised Program Guidelines

DOE’s Office of Policy and International Affairs plans to issue proposed revised general guidelines for public comment during the fall of 2003.

In parallel with this effort, DOE’s Office of Policy and International Affairs intends to issue for public comment proposed technical guidelines in the fall of 2003. The technical guidelines will specify the methods and factors to be used in measuring and estimating greenhouse gas emissions and emission reductions under the revised general guidelines.

DOE plans to issue in final form all necessary guidelines during 2004. Upon finalization and issuance of the revised guidelines, EIA plans to develop and issue new reporting forms and instructions for reporting under the revised program guidelines.

It is important to note here that it is not the intent of this notice to solicit comment on the guideline revision process above, but rather to merely extend the expiration date on the existing data collection, forms EIA-1605 and EIA- 1605-EZ, so that EIA has an existing data collection instrument in place while the guideline revision process is on-going.

For more information about how to submit comments, see the full listing in the Oct. 1 Federal Register under Energy Information Administration. To view the PDF of this section, visit this location.

Send comments to Stephen E. Calopedis. To ensure receipt of the comments by the due date, submission by FAX (202-586-3045) or e-mail (Stephen.calopedis@eia.doe.gov) is recommended. The mailing address is Energy Information Administration, EI- 81, Forrestal Building, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, DC 20585.

Requests for additional information or copies of any forms and instructions should be directed to Stephen Calopedis at the address listed above or can be obtained at http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ 1605/forms.html.

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