Bring Transparency to Greenhouse Gas Emission Reporting

Target: President Barack Obama

Goal: Require energy companies to publicly disclose the data they use to calculate greenhouse gas emissions.

A new proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency is currently under review by the Obama Administration that would require energy companies to publicly disclose data they use to calculate greenhouse gas emissions. Energy and chemical companies are already required to disclose their emissions, but the way they calculate these numbers remains under wraps.

Energy companies are fighting back, claiming that the proposed requirements could put their trade secrets at risk. According to Lorraine Gershman of the American Chemistry Council, energy companies and market regulators fear the information could be “reverse-engineered and reverse-calculated to basically give away trade secrets.”

This isn’t the first time fossil fuel companies have used “trade secrets” as an argument against disclosing information. Earlier this year, when ExxonMobil’s tar-sands oil pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas ruptured, the oil company sought a trade-secret exemption that would allow it to keep inspection data for the pipeline from the public.

Keeping track of greenhouse gas emissions is hugely important to regulating climate change. A complete and transparent inventory of emissions is essential to understanding emission trends, projecting future data, and identifying opportunities for emissions reduction. Without the data for how companies collect and report their data, the inventory is incomplete. Transparency is necessary to regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

Sign the petition below to tell the Obama administration to stand up to the energy and chemical companies that are attempting to hide behind trade-secret arguments.


Dear President Barack Obama,

The EPA’s new rule regarding its greenhouse gas reporting program is currently under review and would require energy companies to publicly release the data they use to calculate and report their greenhouse gas emissions. As on 2010, these companies are already required to disclose their emissions, but are not required to provide information about how these data are calculated.

The energy lobby is trying to kill the proposed rule, claiming that it threatens their trade secrets. However, complete and transparent inventories of greenhouse gas emissions are absolutely necessary to fighting climate change and understanding the impact and trends of emissions.

Approve the proposed rule and strengthen the EPA’s greenhouse gas reporting program by making it more transparent and complete. I urge you to not appeal to the desires of the oil and energy companies who are trying to hide behind trade secrets. Hold these companies accountable.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Svenstorm via Flickr

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