EPA: Carbon Dioxide Endangers Human Health
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On Friday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a finding that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases constitute a danger to public health and welfare and are subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act. This is a significant and historic decision with wide-ranging effects, not the least of which is the regulation of carbon emissions from major polluting industries like coal.
Under the Clean Air Act, EPA is now obligated to issue rules regulating global warming pollution from all major sources, including cars and coal-fired power plants. The law specifically states that EPA “shall” (i.e. must, not may) regulate dangerous pollutants once they are found to endanger public health or welfare.
Now there is no longer a question of if or even when the U.S. will act on global warming. This bold action shows that President Obama is following through on its campaign promise to show American leadership on global warming.
This endangerment decision, ordered by the Supreme Court in April 2007 and based upon years of scientific research and analysis, will speed the shift toward the clean energy economy and complement the other elements of President Obama's sweeping clean energy jobs plan.