US generating companies expect mandatory carbon dioxide regulations

26 October 2004 - A PA Consulting Group survey shows a substantial portion of the US power industry surveyed believes that climate change is both an environmental and a political problem

A national environmental survey of electric generating companies in the US, conducted by PA Consulting Group, shows that nearly 60 per cent of the respondents believe that Congress will enact mandatory limits on carbon dioxide emissions within the next ten years. Roughly half the respondents believe mandatory limits will come within five years. Respondents represented companies that generate roughly 30 per cent of US electricity.

The survey - titled 'Environmental survey 2004' - also shows that survey respondents overwhelmingly believe that greenhouse gas build-up is a political problem. Nearly half of all respondents see greenhouse gas build-up as a scientific problem and less than half of responding companies are incorporating emission limits on CO2 into business planning, due to ongoing regulatory uncertainty.

According to Mike Beck, a member of PA's Management Group and an author of the survey: "Companies need to start focusing now on how CO2 emissions constraints will affect their businesses. The upcoming election adds to the uncertainty about future regulations because our respondents see dramatic policy differences resulting from whoever wins the White House."

PA is the leading adviser on energy issues in the US and regularly advises major energy companies on planning and operations. This survey was conducted in part to allow companies to benchmark themselves on environmental issues against their peer organizations.

In addition to greenhouse gas issues, the survey also includes findings related to cap and trade programs, mercury regulation, compliance planning, and anticipated impacts of the upcoming presidential election on environmental regulation.

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