WRI believes that 2016 is likely the earliest year that future EPA regulation would cover GHGs from existing chemical facilities. The form of regulation is unclear. Previously, the EPA has used both market-based and command-and-control regulation to limit pollutants.

WRI believes that absolute emissions and emissions reduction potential are among the factors that the EPA will consider when regulating GHG emissions; other key criteria include cost feasibility and the remaining useful life of facilities. Nitric acid and adipic acid production—part of the nitrogenous fertilizer and all other basic organic subsectors, and an input into fiber manufacturing—are also likely to come under regulation as a significant source of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions (a potent GHG). (Because of data limitations, this figure does not reflect cost feasibility, the remaining useful life of facilities, and nitric acid and adipic acid production.)