EPA to Declare Carbon Emissions Dangerous
Monday, 7 December 2009
According to the Washington Post, the EPA is ready to declare carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases a danger to public health and welfare. This move lays the foundation for government regulation of global warming causing emissions, with or without Congress approving a comprehensive global warming bill. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson is expected to make the announcement today at 1:15pm EST. This announcement will come as the global climate change meeting is getting ready to commence in Copenhagen, Denmark. The United States has taken a number of positive steps recently to demonstrate to both domestic and international observers that America is ready to act on global warming. President Obama recently announced that the US will reduce emissions 17% by 2020. With this new EPA announcement, the Administration appears willing to back that statement up. Though the EPA will have the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, how they would actually administer a program is unclear. The current proposals in Congress use a cap-and-trade framework for reducing emissions. The EPA may choose to use the cap-and-trade model, a carbon tax, or other methods to regulate emissions. Giving the EPA this type of discretion over program creation is troublesome to certain constituencies, thus providing added impetus to pass a comprehensive global warming bill through Congress rather than regulation by EPA. The US needs to take action to reduce our country’s emissions and the country appears to be well positioned to do so in the near future. With the EPA announcement today, our nation will be one step closer to a clean energy future. Hopefully that helps us in Copenhagen.