Azara Blog: US EPA wants to regulate greenhouse gases

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Date published: 2009/04/17

The BBC says:

The US government is to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, having decided that it and five other greenhouse gases may endanger human health and well-being.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the move following a review of the scientific evidence.

The decision marks a major change from the Bush presidency, when the EPA argued it could not regulate CO2 because the gas was not a pollutant.
Carbon-cutting legislation is being proposed in Congress, but the EPA decision - known as an "endangerment finding" - will allow the agency to mandate some cuts without waiting for the draft bills to become law.

Well it was obvious this was going to happen, and the only question is what the impact will be. So if it is just a way for the executive branch of government to steal a lead on the legislative branch then it's probably a sensible decision. On the other hand, one unfortunate outcome is that it's likely to lead to endless court cases by so-called environmentalists determined to stop any activity they happen not to like. Needless to say, they will presumably first target cars and airplanes and coal power stations. But you could easily argue that pretty much any activity (shopping for food, visiting a museum, going to the ballpark, etc.) contributes to emissions and so you could easily argue that pretty much all activities should be stopped. The courts and lawyers will have a lot of fun over this one.

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