Friday, April 17, 2009

Those Truths Keep Coming Out

To the surprise of absolutely no one with his head on straight, the newly reality-based EPA had made the finding that pollution is bad for us. Someday I expect schoolchildren will study the past maladministration at a shining example of a penultimate aggressive ignorance, and ask their teachers why they weren't impeached for harming the public.

On that day, the air should be returning to breathing quality and the seas receding from midtown Manhattan.

The EPA on Friday declared that carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases sent off by cars and many industrial plants "endanger public health and welfare," setting the stage for regulating them under federal clean air laws.

The action by the Environmental Protection Agency marks the first step toward requiring power plants, cars and trucks to curtail their release of climate-changing pollution, especially carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said while the agency is prepared to move forward with regulations under the Clean Air Act, the Obama administration would prefer that Congress addressed the climate issue through "cap-and-trade" legislation limiting pollution that can contribute to global warming.

Limits on carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases would have widespread economic and social impact, from requiring better fuel efficiency for automobiles to limiting emissions from power plants and industrial sources, changing the way the nation produces energy.

In announcing the proposed finding, Jackson said the EPA analysis "confirms that greenhouse gas pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations" and warrants steps to curtail it.

While EPA officials said the agency may still be many months from actually issuing such regulation, the threat of dealing with climate change by regulation could spur some hesitant members of Congress to find another way to address the problem.

"The (EPA) decision is a game changer. It now changes the playing field with respect to legislation," said Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., whose Energy and Commerce subcommittee is crafting broad limits on greenhouse emissions. "It's now no longer doing a bill or doing nothing. It is now a choice between regulation and legislation."

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee responsible for climate legislation, said EPA's action is "a wake-up call for Congress" — deal with it directly through legislation or let the EPA regulate.

Friday's action by the EPA triggered a 60-day comment period before the agency issues a final endangerment ruling. That would be followed by a proposal on how to regulate the emissions.

This return to rational behavior is just one of the many sources of relief that we feel on the left. We have much more work to do. It's going to take every one of us practicing environmentally sound lifestyles to begin repairs to the damage the criminal element in our government has done to our world.

Take a deep breath. We're on the way back out of the hole.

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Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Individual attention to the problem is important. Vital. Necessary.

But insufficient.

Unless the State and the CorpoRats sign on, all the individuyal efforts in the world are for naught, in terms of consequences on the problem...

no, i'm not an optimist. Why do you ask?

1:27 PM  
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