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Exxon Mobil Corporation Message Board

  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Jul 2, 2013 1:37 AM Flag

    Chemical, oil companies fear potential EPA rule will expose trade secrets

    Chemical, oil companies fear potential EPA rule will expose trade secrets

    Julian Hattem 07/01/13 04:49 PM ET

    Chemical and energy companies are warning the Obama administration that a new proposal on reporting greenhouse gas emissions information could put trade secrets at risk.

    The White House is currently reviewing a proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that could require companies to publicly release the information they use to calculate the emissions, like the volume of production or raw materials that are used.

    Companies and market regulators worry that that data can be "reverse-engineered and reverse-calculated to basically give away trade secrets," according to Lorraine Gershman, director of the environmental, regulatory and technical affairs office of the American Chemistry Council.

    "We pretty much are reiterating our concern that the data be protected and not divulged," she said. "Our members' concerns are release of information, both domestically and internationally as well."

    Usually, the EPA decides what business information should be kept confidential on a case-by-case basis. A 2009 rule requiring greenhouse gas emissions reporting resulted in too much information for those decisions to be carried out in a timely manner. Since then, the agency has been working to set standards on what information should be kept confidential and what should be made public.

    The EPA's rule has not yet been proposed, so it's impossible to tell what is in it. However the agency has previously asserted that data used in emissions equations are "emission data," which the Clean Air Act specifically prevents from being kept confidential.

    Chemical and oil companies disagree.

    They already report information about greenhouse gas emissions, but since 2010 they have opposed efforts to require the disclosure of data used to calculate those emissions.

    On June 25, Gershman and other representatives from the chemical and energy industries met with offici

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