FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 2, 2009
CONTACT: Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384
Obama EPA Poised to Act on Warming
After Years of Inaction, Delay Under Bush
Thursday Marks Two-Year Anniversary of Landmark
Global Warming Supreme Court Case
Washington, D.C.—Thursday, April 2, marks the two-year anniversary of the Supreme Court's watershed ruling in the case of Massachusetts v. EPA. The Sierra Club and its Chief Climate Counsel, David Bookbinder, played a key role in the case from its genesis in 1999 until it was argued before the High Court in November 2006. The decision affirmed that carbon dioxide (CO2) was a pollutant under the Clean Air Act, ordered EPA to determine whether or not CO2 endangered public health or welfare and, if so, to begin promulgating regulations to address it.
The Bush administration ignored the decision and refused to make the endangerment determination ordered by the High Court, forcing the Sierra Club and other petitioners to take the Bush EPA back to court. By contrast, reports indicate that the Obama administration will announce that CO2 and other greenhouse gasses endanger public health and welfare on April 16 (the so-called "endangerment determination" ordered by the Supreme Court). In addition, the new administration has already used the economic recovery package and the President's budget to make down payments on its sweeping agenda to renew and rebuild our economy using clean energy. As it moves ahead with common sense regulations, the Obama administration is also working with Congress to craft comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation that will hold polluters accountable for the global warming pollution they emit.
For background on the case, please visit:
Statement of David Bookbinder, Sierra Club Chief Climate Counsel
"While merely opening emails from EPA would put the Obama White House ahead of the previous administration, it has done far more than that to reverse the disastrous course of its predecessor. In just two months, Lisa Jackson's strong start seems to have successfully exorcised the demons of eight long years of misrule and mistrust at the Agency.
"Building the clean energy economy that will pull us out of today's economic crisis has become the signature issue for this administration and they have already given us much to celebrate as this important anniversary approaches. They have done more in just two months to make us energy independent and fight global warming than has been done for the past two decades.
"Both President Obama and Administrator Jackson promised to let science and the rule of law prevail and their deeds have more than lived up to their words. EPA has put us on a path that will dramatically increase the use clean energy, reduce our dependence on oil, create millions of new green jobs, and protect our health and the health of our planet. And despite the overheated rhetoric of the agents of the dirty energy status quo, we know that for decades EPA has crafted regulations that benefit both our environment and our economy.
"It may have taken two years and two landmark elections for the full implications of this case to be felt, but it is difficult to overstate how much progress we have already made. There is much work yet to be done, but the new administration's actions to date give us every confidence that they will continue to do what is necessary to address the many challenges before us."
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