Pollutants are Harmful

7 December 2009

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EPA Declares Greenhouse Gases are Harmful

The Environmental Protection Agency has just announced that, yes, indeed, greenhouse gases are harmful to humans. This means that pollutants can be regulated under the Clean Air Act. Naturally, the oil lobby is pitching a fit, and the climate change deniers believe another couple of decades of study are needed. However, the move really is designed to put pressure on the Congress to act and to give Mr. Obama some cover as he goes to the world climate summit in Copenhagen.

In 2007, the Supreme Court said that greenhouse gases are pollutants under the act, but the EPA had to determine that they were harmful to humans. The EPA has finally done that. "These long-overdue findings cement 2009's place in history as the year when the United States government began addressing the challenge of greenhouse-gas pollution," said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson at a news conference.

"This is a clear message to Copenhagen of the Obama administration's commitments to address global climate change," said Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), lead author of a climate bill before the Senate. "The message to Congress is crystal clear: get moving."

Meanwhile, "The implications of today's action by EPA are far-reaching ... individual Americans and consumers and businesses alike will be dramatically affected by this decision," said Charles T. Drevna, the president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association. In a statement, he said "it is hardly the time to risk the remainder of the US industrial sector in an attempt to achieve a short-term international public relations victory."

What the EPA is really going to do is nothing right away. For example, the Obama administration wants to cut emissions by 17% by 2020. And auto fuel efficiency will get a boost, 35 miles per gallon by 2016.

The Danish Prime Minister summed it up, though, "The deal that we invite leaders to sign up on will be one that affects all aspects of society, just as the changing climate does," said Lars Loekke Rasmussen. "Negotiators cannot do this alone, nor can politicians. The ultimate responsibility rests with the citizens of the world, who will ultimately bear the fatal consequences if we fail to act."

Copyright 2009 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Fedora Linux.

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