Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Obama to Regulate CO2 as a Pollutant

In a clean break with Bush Administration policy and a clear step away from corporate-coziness, the Obama Administration has announced that they will regulate CO2 as a pollutant. Here is an excerpt from the BBC’s coverage.

The US government is to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, having decided that it and five other greenhouse gases may endanger human health and well-being.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the move following a review of the scientific evidence. The decision marks a major change from the Bush presidency, when the EPA argued it could not regulate CO2 because the gas was not a pollutant. Developing countries have asked for the US to show leadership on climate. Many are not prepared to curtail their own emissions without firm indications that the US is willing to make significant reductions. Carbon-cutting legislation is being proposed in Congress, but the EPA decision – known as an “endangerment finding” – will allow the agency to mandate some cuts without waiting for the draft bills to become law. “This finding confirms that greenhouse gas pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations,” said EPA administrator Lisa Jackson. “Fortunately, it follows President Obama’s call for a low-carbon economy and strong leadership in Congress on clean energy and climate legislation; and… the solution is one that will create millions of green jobs and end our country’s dependence on foreign oil.”
Read the full article here. And here’s our own Jonathan‘s “Policy Wonk Framing” of the decision:
The move is probably more than it appears on the surface. It’s not just the EPA acting as it should (and should have done years ago). It also puts pressure on Congress and on industry with regard to climate legislation. It means that industry and the Republicans can’t hope to stall carbon restrictions indefinitely. They have to accept that restrictions are going to be implemented in the relatively near term. If they want to have influence on how it happens and how severe the restrictions will be, they now have a strong incentive to work with the Democrats to pass legislation that overrides any EPA devised plan, and imposes a Congressionally mandated plan. This puts the Democrats in more of the driver’s seat, since Republican obstructionism means the EPA goes ahead any ole way it wants to. If the Republicans want to have any impact, they have to work in more of a partnership with the Democrats. That doesn’t mean that Congress will give us something good, just that the odds that Congress passes climate legislation this year are now much higher, and it probably also means that what comes out of Congress will be at least a little bit better than it would have without the EPA move.
Related Posts:


The Future Is Hopeless, So Give it Your All

The never-ending national election in the United States, the “surprise” pro-Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, climate change … the list goes on and on about how easy it can be to lose hope in the future.Like many of life’s frustrations, or overwhelmingly large topics, most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the […] Read More

How Carbon Farming Can Save the Planet

Carbon farming alone is not enough to avoid catastrophic climate change, but coupled with new economic priorities, a massive switch to clean energy, and big changes to much of the rest of the way our societies work, it offers a pathway out of destruction and a route to hope.Along the way carbon farming can also […] Read More

Look Under Your Feet for Global Soil-utions

For several years, Chelsea Green has been publishing books that look under our feet for solutions to some of the most vexing problems facing the planet – hunger, drought, degraded farmland and grasslands, damaged waterways, and much more. Those books focus on (mostly) one thing: Soil.  In 2016, we’ve published two more important books that […] Read More

Climate Change & the End of Stationarity

Just as predicting the rise of Donald Trump as a leading presidential candidate stumped even the best of political analysts (looking at you Nate “FiveThirtyEight” Silver), the advent of the Sixth Great Extinction due to climate change and an increasingly potent mix of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has completely upended how we predict the […] Read More

Use Simple Games to Better Understand Climate Change

How is it that emissions keep growing despite rising concern about the climate change they cause? It is possible to identify several reasons for the paradox, most of which lie outside the scope of The Climate Change Playbook. But one important reason is relevant here: people do not understand the behaviors of the climate system.And […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com