The EPA has taken another step today towards regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The agency formally declared that heat-trapping gases like CO2 and five others were a threat to public health and welfare.
In order to regulate the gases under the Clean Air Act, the agency had to prove that the gases endangered the public. The EPA recently announced that it would require companies to start reporting their greenhouse gas emissions and now with today's declaration, regulation could be as little as 60 days away, when the comment period ends on this ruling.
The scientific analysis found that CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride were in high concentrations in the atmosphere and that they are very likely causing increased draught, heavy downpours and flooding, more intense heat waves and wildfires, rise in sea levels, more intense storms and harm to water resources, agriculture, wildlife and ecosystems.
Ecogeeks already know all of this, but having a government agency officially declaring these facts means the the U.S. can more effectively contribute to negotiations over a new international climate treaty. Congress is drafting climate and energy legislation that will most likely supersede any regulations that the EPA comes up with, but this is a great first step that shows that our government is at least making progress towards protecting the planet.
via NY Times
written by Andrew, April 18, 2009
written by Ekaterina, April 24, 2009
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