Friday, December 11, 2009

EPA Finding is Good News

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an "endangerment finding" with regard to greenhouse gases. Essentially, the EPA is saying that these gases -- a major cause of global warming -- are a threat to public health, and it will be taking steps to regulate emissions.

In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a landmark ruling that greenhouse gases are pollutants and can be regulated by the EPA under the 1970 Clean Air Act. The Bush administration, which was in office at the time, did not act on this finding. However, on Monday, December 7, the EPA issued an "endangerment finding" on greenhouse gases.

Once the EPA decides that a pollutant endangers public health, the agency is "authorized and obligated to take reasonable efforts" to reduce emissions under the Clean Air Act. In the near term, the EPA is expected to introduce new regulations on auto emissions. Later, it is expected to target other sources of emissions, such as power plants and oil refineries.

Baby Steps toward a more Sustainable Future for Us All!

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