Reactions are coming in to The EPA’s long-awaited finding today that carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases pose a threat to “the public health and welfare.” One California environmental group actually used the word “Duh” in its official response.
After two years of study, prodded by a Supreme Court decision, the federal agency finds that CO2, methane, oxides of nitrogen and two other industrial gases should be regulated as pollutants under the Clean Air Act. A sampling of reactions:
“‘Duh’ may not be a scientific term, but it applies here. Today, common sense prevailed over pressure from Big Oil and other big polluters to deny the obvious in order to maintain the status quo on energy. EPA has embraced the basic facts on global warming that scientists around the world have acknowledged for years.”
“While the federal government was asleep at the wheel for years, we in California have known greenhouse gases are a threat to our health and to our environment – that’s why we have taken such aggressive action to reduce harmful emissions and move toward a greener economy. Two years after the Supreme Court declared greenhouse gas emissions a pollutant, it’s promising to see the new administration in Washington showing signs that it will take an aggressive leadership role in fighting climate change that will lead to reduced emissions, thousands of new green jobs and a healthier future for our children and our planet.”
Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma–boldface is his):
“Today’s action by the EPA is the beginning of a regulatory barrage that will destroy jobs, raise energy prices for consumers, and undermine America’s global competitiveness,” Senator Inhofe said. “It now appears EPA’s regulatory reach will find its way into schools, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and just about any activity that meets minimum thresholds in the Clean Air Act. Rep. John Dingell was right: the endangerment finding will produce a ‘glorious mess.’
“This finding was expected, but long overdue because the previous administration respected neither the science nor the law. The consequence of this finding is that EPA will now begin the task of reducing these emissions through the permitting process provided by the Clean Air Act. One way or the other, the clear and present danger of endlessly dumping pollutants into the atmosphere must be confronted. We will either find a way to build a future for our children based on clean energy and sustainable jobs, or we will face a very unsentimental foe unarmed – a climate that makes life unsustainable. The choice is clear, and the new Administration is following the wisest path forward.”
California moved to regulate carbon emissions three years ago, when state lawmakers passed the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, also known as AB 32. But many specific regulations required by that law have yet to take effect.