EPA Finds Global Warming Pollutants Endanger Public Health

Late this morning, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson signed a proposed finding of “endangerment,” finding that six greenhouse gases — including carbon dioxide and methane — pose a potential threat to the public health and welfare as defined under the Clean Air Act and, as such, may be subject to EPA regulation.

In a press statement released shortly after the announcement, The Wilderness Society praised the Obama Administration for following “the wisest path forward” in issuing the finding, and for relying on sound science as the basis for this policy decision.

“This finding was expected, but long overdue because the previous administration respected neither the science nor the law,” said David Moulton, director of climate policy for The Wilderness Society.

The EPA’s news release announcing today’s action noted that its findings were “based on rigorous, peer-reviewed scientific analysis” of greenhouse gas pollutants “that have been the subject of intensive analysis by scientists around the world.”

The EPA’s Jackson noted that greenhouse gases pose “a serious problem now and for future generations,” but added that taking action to curb global warming pollution “will create millions of green jobs and end our country’s dependence on foreign oil.”

In his statement, Moulton noted that the EPA can expect howls of opposition from “the same folks who have been busy blocking legislation in Congress.”

“One way or the other the clear and present danger of endlessly dumping pollutants into the atmosphere must be confronted,” he said. “We will either find a way to build a future for our children based on clean energy and sustainable jobs, or we will face, unarmed, a very unsentimental foe — a climate that makes life unsustainable.”

The EPA will accept public comments on the finding for the next 60 days, and will hold hearings in Arlington, Virginia, on May 18 and in Seattle, Washington on May 21.