Today, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed to use authority in Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act to regulate US emissions of six greenhouse gases.
The text of the proposed rule makes the following scientific claims:
- “Concentrations of greenhouse gases are at unprecedented levels compared to the recent and distant past. These high atmospheric levels are the unambiguous result of human emissions, and are very likely the cause of the observed increase in average temperatures and other climatic changes.”
- “The effects of climate change observed to date and projected to occur in the future—including but not limited to the increased likelihood of more frequent and intense heat waves, more wildfires, degraded air quality, more heavy downpours and flooding, increased drought, greater sea level rise, more intense storms, harm to water resources, harm to agriculture, and harm to wildlife and ecosystems—are effects on public health and welfare within the meaning of the Clean Air Act. In light of the likelihood that greenhouse gases cause these effects.”
- “[T]he combined emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbons from new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle engines are contributing to this mix of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”
- “E]missions of these substances from new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle engines are contributing to air pollution which is endangering public health and welfare under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act.”
Public comments on the proposal are due by June 23, 2009 and may be sent to GHG–Endangerment-Docket@epa.gov, noting Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OAR–2009–0171.