Hinterland Green

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

EPA to Declare Carbon Dioxide a Dangerous Pollutant

Carbon dioxide will be declared a dangerous pollutant shortly. This move could help jump-start the slow-moving climate-change legislation on Capitol Hill. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson said a formal "endangerment finding," which would trigger federal regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, probably would "happen in the next months."

Jackson disclosed her timeline even as top senators said they were delaying plans to introduce legislation that would set new limits on carbon dioxide emissions. They were set to unveil legislation next Tuesday, but the date has now been pushed back to a later date in September.
The EPA kick-started the regulatory process in April when it proposed declaring carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases as pollutants that jeopardize the public health and welfare. EPA scientists believe the greenhouse gases contribute to global warming by trapping heat in the Earth's atmosphere. The EPA can formalize the finding anytime, now that it has closed a 60-day public comment period that netted more than 300,000 responses.

A formal endangerment finding would obligate the agency to regulate greenhouse gas pollution under the Clean Air Act - even if Congress doesn't pass a final climate-change bill. Source: San Francisco Chronicle
This is a move that will be applauded by many environmentalists. President Barack Obama and Lisa Jackson said they prefer that Congress, instead of the EPA, lead the charge in implementing new greenhouse gas limits.
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