Sunday, 29 March 2009

EPA rule that CO2 is "endangerment"

This is the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency in the USA) ruling which is referred to below in my write up of Bill Beckker's speech. I hadnt realised how very recent it was. Full details in this Time article which the quotes below are borrowed from (mostly so that I can find them again):

Time, Monday, Mar. 23, 2009, Bryan Walsh

On March 20 the EPA sent what is called an "endangerment finding" to the White House, a proposal that means the agency found that there is a scientific case that man-made global warming poses a threat to human welfare. (Reporters found out about the EPA decision the following Monday, after it was posted on a government website.) The finding is a response to an April 2007 Supreme Court decision ordering the EPA to figure out how CO2 from cars should be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

Scientific staff in the George W. Bush–era EPA found that CO2 is a pollutant, but then administrator Stephen Johnson rejected the recommendation and delayed the process of regulating it, part of the Bush Administration's general obstructionism on climate change. When Lisa Jackson took over the EPA under the new President, however, she told Congress that one of her first acts would be to reevaluate her predecessor's decision, and she didn't drag her feet. "It's an exercise in leadership that takes the first step in regulating CO2 emissions from automobiles," says John Walke, the clean air director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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