Tuesday, 24 March 2009

The EPA declares greenhouses gasses are pollutants

According to The New York Times today the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is about to declare that greenhouse gasses are dangerous pollutants, opening the door to potential federal regulation of car emissions and heavy polluting power plants and factories.

It may sound odd, but despite the Supreme Court ordering the EPA (in 2007) to determine whether greenhouse gasses qualified as pollutants under the Clean Air Act, the Bush administration had stalled in complying with the order, opting for more study of the issue.

There was, apparently, wide consensus among EPA experts that carbon dioxide was a danger to the public and that there was scientific research to support it. However, not until the Obama administration took office (and appointed scientists to head the environmental team - rather than oil men) have they had the chance to say so.

According to the article the decision may also help the introduction of a federal law to curb carbon dioxide emissions, since many companies see legislation as less restrictive and more flexible than being monitored by a regulatory agency.

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