EPA claims power to regulate greenhouse gases

Greenhouse gases contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health or welfare, the US Environmental Protection Agency found April 17, under a scientific review ordered in 2007 by the Supreme Court. The proposed finding states: “In both magnitude and probability, climate change is an enormous problem. The greenhouse gases that are responsible for it endanger public health and welfare within the meaning of the Clean Air Act.”

The finding identifies six greenhouse gases that pose a potential threat: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride. These are the same six gases governed by the Kyoto Protocol, which the United States signed during the Clinton administration but failed to ratify under the Bush administration.

“This finding confirms that greenhouse gas pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations. Fortunately, it follows President Obama’s call for a low carbon economy and strong leadership in Congress on clean energy and climate legislation,” said EPA administrator Lisa Jackson. “This pollution problem has a solution—one that will create millions of green jobs and end our country’s dependence on foreign oil.” (ENS, April 17)

Another blow against petro-oligarchical rule?

See our last post on the climate crisis.

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