Greenhouse Gases: Regulation Coming?

A proposed finding from the EPA would classify six greenhouse gases as human health hazards, a first step toward regulating emissions that contribute to global warming.


| June/July 2009


As shown in a graph of carbon emissions and gross national product by country, the world’s wealthiest nations are also the world’s largest per capita emitters of carbon dioxide (CO2), the leading pollutant driving global warming. But now the country that emits the most CO2 per capita, the United States, is finally about to declare that six greenhouse gases “endanger the public health and welfare of current and future generations.”

In what has been called the first step toward regulating global warming-related pollution, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on April 17 issued a proposed finding that the six gases — CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride — are air pollutants as defined by the Clean Air Act. The finding was based on a broad, peer-reviewed scientific study ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007. The EPA’s proposed rule states clearly that current atmospheric levels of these chemicals are “likely the cause of the observed increase in average temperatures and other climatic changes.”

“This finding confirms that greenhouse gas pollution is a problem now and for future generations,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson when she introduced the proposed rule.

As we went to press, the proposal entered a 60-day public comment period. 

alexa
9/14/2009 4:22:45 AM

I hope this regulation is the first step of many to come! It's fair to ask the welthiest nations to start regulating their emission, as their emissions are the largest. It is also necessary that the poorest countries start finding a cleaner way to advance their standard of living. Climate is changing much faster than our expectations,this is caused from our standard of living. We might not have the luxury of a "century or two"!! We should all give up some comfort for the future good. Altough this is not simple, I look at my child and can't help but wonder which world he will grow up.


alexa
9/14/2009 4:21:26 AM

I hope this regulation is the first step of many to come! It's fair to ask the welthiest nations to start regulating their emission, as their emissions are the largest. It is also necessary that the poorest countries start finding a cleaner way to advance their standard of living. Climate is changing much faster than our expectations,this is caused from our standard of living. We might not have the luxury of a "century or two"!! We should all give up some comfort for the future good. Altough this is not simple, I look at my child and can't help but wonder which world he will grow up.


Frank Ruvolo_2
6/8/2009 10:32:09 PM

Unless you get everyone to play the game is not fair. Rich nations cannot offset what poor nations will do. If you just want to feel better then pay the high taxes. If you want to do something convince them to find a cleaner way to advance their standard of living.






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