EPA Proposing to Find Greenhouse Gases a Danger to Health and Safety

Damn! I’m so glad. I’m so glad. I’m glad, I’m glad, I’m glad. The new EPA under the new Administrator, Lisa Jackson, appointed by the new president, Barak Obama stood eight years of dangerous idiocy on its head and issued a proposed finding — that is, We Propose to Find that — CO2 and five other gases, human-made, are a danger to those who make them and must be regulated. This is said in very clear and compelling language.

SUMMARY: Today the Administrator is proposing to find that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere endanger the public health and welfare of current and future generations. Concentrations of greenhouse gases are at unprecedented levels compared to the recent and distant past. These high atmospheric levels are the unambiguous result of human emissions, and are very likely the cause of the observed increase in average temperatures and other climatic changes. The effects of climate change observed to date and projected to occur in the future – including but not limited to the increased likelihood of more frequent and intense heat waves, more wildfires, degraded air quality, more heavy downpours and flooding, increased drought, greater sea level rise, more intense storms, harm to water resources, harm to agriculture, and harm to wildlife and ecosystems – are effects on public health and welfare within the meaning of the Clean Air Act. In light of the likelihood that greenhouse gases cause these effects, and the magnitude of the effects that are occurring and are very likely to occur in the future, the Administrator proposes to find that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare within the meaning of Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act.

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Not only that, but a clear and wonderful pronoun grabs our attention and makes us glad: SHE

“She proposes to make this finding specifically with respect to six greenhouse gases that together constitute the root of the climate change problem: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride.”

Lots of terrible things have happened in the past 40 years. That women are now a major part of the highest governing circles of the land is a great and happy thing.

And finally, I’m so glad because James Imhofe is mad, so mad, so mad.

The EPA website with links to the finding and the technical support [pdf] for them is here.

Joy from NRDC, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club.

This Finding does not mean that the EPA WILL regulate CO2. It says that, absent other action — from Congress– it must do it on its own. The preference would be that widely drawn, effective plans be created at a national level, including incentives and disincentives such as cap-and-trade, or tax-and-dividend. The finding ensures that Congress will now have the stick of EPA regulations to consider if they can’t move ahead themselves.

TIME has a good article summarizing the “stick,” and the long path yet to go.

And as for you, dear reader, don’t neglect the Fasting For Our Future action, explained here with more comments here.