Who needs Congress? The EPA officially determined Tuesday that “greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people.” Under the Clean Air Act and with the blessing of the Supreme Court, the agency might now be able to regulate emissions that contribute to the climate crisis.

We saw this coming, but it’s still a pretty big deal. For years (Bush years, even) the agency sat on its hands while Americans stared down the barrel of the biggest environmental disaster imaginable.

Things haven’t been looking too good. Congress essentially blew off the president’s weak-sauce climate regulation bill, and the commander in chief nearly skipped the landmark Copenhagen climate summit.

This announcement will give him a little ammunition to pack for his trip to Denmark. — PZS

EPA press release here.


The US government has declared that greenhouse gases threaten human health.

The move could allow the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to order cuts in emissions without the approval of Congress.

EPA administrator Lisa Jackson said the agency was now “authorised and obligated to make reasonable efforts” to cut greenhouse gases.

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