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US EPA finalizes "endangerment finding"

Date
07 December 2009

Earlier today, the US Environmental Protection Agency made final its finding that "greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare" and that "on-road vehicles contribute to that threat."  

The final "endangerment finding" comes eight months and more than 380,000 public comments after the EPA first proposed it in April.  The decision enables the EPA to move forward with regulations that would limit greenhouse gas emissions from cars and large industrial sources, without new Congressional legislation.    

Many business leaders and policymakers agree that EPA regulation under the Clean Air Act is not ideal, and that a new comprehensive climate and energy policy is a much more efficient approach.

"The finding opens the door to EPA regulation under the Clean Air Act," said Michael Allegretti, The Climate Group's Senior Advisor on US Policy.  "While many don't think that EPA regulation is the best way to solve the problem, it is now a real possibility."

Coming on the first day of international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, the announcement seems intended to reaffirm the Administration's commitment to the issue and possibly provide a prod to the US Senate to pass federal climate policy in 2010.

"With the prospect of EPA regulation now firmly on the table, there is even more reason for Congress to adopt a tailor-made solution, which is compatible with an international agreement" added Evan Juska, The Climate Group's Senior Policy Manager. 

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