Greenhouse Gases Endanger Health

The official linking of greenhouse gases and health is the first step to begin establishing national emission standards for large greenhouse gas polluters.© www.ohiocitizen.org

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson announced last week that her agency was taking a historic step by formally determining that the emission of greenhouse gases "endangers" the human health and well-being of Americans and others. This long-awaited determination, slow-tracked by the lameduck Bush administration, will enable the agency to begin implementing the Supreme Court’s 2007 ruling calling for the curbing of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

Environmentalists report that the determination reflects the first step to begin establishing national emission standards for large greenhouse gas polluters. The action comes as Congress takes its own historic first steps toward enacting a cap on global warming pollution.

"The U.S. is taking its first steps as a nation to confront climate change," says Vickie Patton of the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund. "The EPA’s action is a wake up-call for national policy solutions that secure our economic and environmental future."

David Doniger of the Natural Resources Defense Council, another leading environmental nonprofit, was duly impressed. "With this step, Administrator Lisa Jackson and the Obama administration have gone a long way to restore respect for both science and law," he said. "The era of defying science and the Supreme Court has ended."

Sources: Environmental Defense Fund; NRDC

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