EPA Sets the Ball on the Tee
Posted by Jeff Condon on April 17, 2009
By Jeffry Bartash, MarketWatch
WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday formally declared carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases to be pollutants that threaten public health and welfare, setting in motion a process that for the first time in the United States will regulate the gases blamed for global warming.
Lisa P. Jackson, the E.P.A. administrator, said: “This finding confirms that greenhouse gas pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations. Fortunately, it follows President Obama’s call for a low-carbon economy and strong leadership in Congress on clean energy and climate legislation.”
However, the E.P.A.’s announcement on Friday did not include any specific targets for reducing greenhouse gases or new requirements for energy efficiency in vehicles, power plants or industry. Those would emerge after a period of comment and rule-making or in any legislation approved by Congress.
According to the E.P.A. announcement, the proposed finding was based on rigorous scientific analysis of six gases — carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride — that have been widely studied by scientists around the world.
Among the ill effects of rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and the other gases, the agency found, were increased drought, more heavy downpours and flooding, more frequent and intense heat waves and wildfires, a steeper rise in sea levels, more intense storms and harm to water resources, agriculture, wildlife and ecosystems.
“With this step,” he added, “Administrator Lisa Jackson and the Obama administration have gone a long way to restore respect for both science and law. The era of defying science and the Supreme Court has ended.”
Auto companies, utilities and other emitters have long dreaded this day but reacted with caution because the regulatory process has just begun and they hope to address their concerns in the legislation now before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“Today’s proposed finding does not include any proposed regulations,” the agency statement said. “Before taking any steps to reduce greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, E.P.A. would conduct an appropriate process and consider stakeholder input.
So this must be the part where the EPA calls me and asks what I think they should do.
Here is the tropical temperature anomaly calculated at CA by Steve McIntyre, it shows clearly the skyrocketing heat wave for the last 30 years.
Current sea ice level
Good thing they base their decisions on sound science or we’d be in real trouble.