EPA Delays Decision on Regulating Greenhouse Gases

Issues in Science and Technology, Fall 2008 | Go to article overview

EPA Delays Decision on Regulating Greenhouse Gases


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has effectively delayed until the next administration any decision on whether greenhouse gases must be regulated under the authority of the Clean Air Act.

Although the Bush administration has long opposed regulating greenhouse gases under the act, in April 2007 the Supreme Court ordered EPA to determine whether or not carbon dioxide ([CO.sub.2]) emissions from automobiles endanger public health and welfare and therefore must be regulated under the act.

On July 11, under pressure from Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA), the EPA released an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. The document outlines how such regulation could work, but does not find that [CO.sub.2] emissions endanger public health. The ANPR merely requests comments on the proposed regulation and how best to approach the matter.

An introductory statement to the ANPR by EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson argues that the Clean Air Act is not an appropriate legal framework under which to attempt such regulation. This position was repeated in additional letters from the director of the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and the Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, and Transportation. …

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