March 10, 2009
Obama EPA Sprints on Climate After Years of Bush Foot-Dragging
Coming on the same day that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first national reporting standards for global warming emissions, leaked information shows that the Agency plans to issue an important, long-awaited finding on global warming’s impact on public health and welfare on April 16, with a 60-day public comment period and two public hearings to follow before the document is finalized.
The April 2, 2007 Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. EPA found that carbon dioxide (CO2) was a pollutant under the Clean Air Act, ordered EPA to determine whether CO2 endangered public health or welfare under the Act’s capacious definition, and, if so, to promulgate the appropriate regulations. The Bush administration unlawfully chose to ignore the decision for nearly two years, continuing its long campaign of denial, obfuscation, and foot-dragging on global warming and other key environmental issues.
The so-called endangerment finding is one of the first steps the Agency must take before promulgating regulations to limit global warming pollution from cars, factories, power plants, and other sources. It also paves the way for the Agency to grant a waiver to California in order to allow it and more than a dozen other states to implement landmark global warming emissions standards for vehicles.
In response Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope, issued the following statement.
"After years of delay by the previous administration, the Obama administration’s quick action to study and control global warming pollution is a breath of fresh air. This is yet more proof that President Obama has ended the Bush administration’s war on science once and for all.
"This decision also makes good on the promises of President Obama and EPA Administrator Jackson to discard politics and ideology in favor of sound policy guided by the rule of law and EPA’s duty to protect the public’s health and welfare. We also commend EPA for genuinely considering the public’s opinion this and other pressing matters, something that was all but abandoned in favor of secret backroom deals during the previous eight years.
"The public should not be fooled by the doomsday rhetoric spouted by proponents of the status quo. It’s clear that the administration understands the urgency to act on global warming and the sweet spot of solutions that can not only help our climate, but can also help our economy recover. Consistent with President Obama’s economic recovery plan, today’s revelations take America one step closer to a future powered by green energy and green jobs."