It’s amazing what can happen when a government organization that, in theory, is the de facto watchdog of the energy industry in the United States is no longer tethered to neocon yearnings.
The Environmental Protection Agency sent a proposal to the White House on Friday finding that global warming is endangering the public’s health and welfare, according to several sources, a move that could have far-reaching implications for the nation’s economy and environment.
The proposal — which comes in response to a 2007 Supreme Court decision ordering EPA to consider whether carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases should be regulated under the Clean Air Act — could lay the groundwork for nationwide measures to limit such emissions. It reverses one of the Bush administration’s landmark environmental decisions: In July 2008 then-EPA administrator Stephen Johnson rejected his scientific and technical staff’s recommendation and announced the agency would seek months of further public comment on the threat posed by global warming pollution.
Of course, not everyone is pleased.
[B]usiness groups decried the move as an economic disaster.
“By moving forward with the endangerment finding on greenhouse gases, EPA is putting in motion a set of decisions that may have far-reaching unintended consequences,” said Bill Kovacs, vice president of environment, technology and regulatory affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Specifically, once the finding is made, no matter how limited, some environmental groups will sue to make sure it is applied to all aspects of the Clean Air Act.
“This will mean that all infrastructure projects, including those under the president’s stimulus initiative, will be subject to environmental review for greenhouse gases. Since not one of the projects has been subjected to that review, it is possible that the projects under the stimulus initiative will cease. This will be devastating to the economy.”
See that? Endangerment finding on greenhouse gases, yada yada yada devastating to the economy. Of course, this relies on a series of shrill, bullshit doomsday assumptions, not that the wingmen who will quote him will pause ot consider the fact.
A transcript of an online discussion between the EPA’s Bill Kovacs and the media is here. Of note, Kovacs says that the provisions of the Clean Air Act are grossly inadequate to control the level of greenhouse gases spilled into the atmosphere owing to human industry, and that unless other nations join in the effort to curb GHG emissions, the efforts of the U.S. will essentially be in vain.
In any event, expect a shitstorm from the usual sources, and a repetition of the same canards (“Urth cooling since 1998! CO2 only 0.0027% of greenhouse gases! Winter cold! IPCC on the take! 650 scientists dissent, yo!”) in response to this unaplogetic move toward communism.