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EPA Says Climate Change Pollution Threatens Public Health And Welfare, Setting Stage For Regulation Of Greenhouse Gases

Landmark Decision Reinforces Need for Clean Energy Jobs Plan, Says WWF

WASHINGTON, DC, April 17, 2009 – The Environmental Protection Agency today issued a proposed finding that greenhouse gas pollution threatens the health and welfare of the American public.  The announcement comes two years after a landmark Supreme Court decision that directed the EPA to determine whether carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases pose a public danger and should therefore be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

While EPA reiterated its preference for a legislative solution to climate change, its announcement today sets the stage for the agency to regulate harmful greenhouse gas pollution.  The agency’s proposed finding is now subject to a 60-day public review period.

Dr. Richard H. Moss, vice president for climate change at World Wildlife Fund, issued the following statement upon the EPA announcement:

“Today’s announcement represents a victory for the appropriate use of science by government agencies.  EPA’s decision was based on the scientific findings of agency experts who recognized the clear overwhelming data that can lead to only one conclusion: greenhouse gas pollution, and the climate change it is causing, represents a grave threat to the future well being of the American people.  I commend Administrator Jackson and officials throughout the Obama administration for their commitment to scientific integrity and strong leadership in addressing dangerous climate change.

“While we welcome action by the administration to regulate greenhouse gases, our overwhelming preference would be for a legislative fix that would curb climate change pollution by tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit of America and sparking a clean energy revolution.  Transitioning to a new ‘energy technology’ economy would enable us to slow climate change while building a solid foundation for lasting economic prosperity. 

“The Clean Energy Jobs Plan currently being discussed in Congress would accomplish this dual goal by fueling the rapid development of clean, domestic sources of energy and new energy technologies that would grow our economy, create many new jobs and make our nation more energy independent.  Today’s proposal by the EPA, which may lead to the regulation of greenhouse gas pollution, should provide a whole new sense of urgency to Congressional deliberations. 

“Curbing greenhouse pollution is essential to protecting the future of our planet.  But if we don’t couple that with economic growth and job creation, as the Clean Energy Jobs Plan would do, we will miss a tremendous opportunity.”