WASHINGTON – In response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) issued the following statement. Today’s announcement marks EPA’s response to the April 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which confirmed that greenhouses gases must be considered as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act:
“I support the EPA findings because the science about global warming is clear. Greenhouse gases do pose a threat to public health. This announcement starts the EPA’s long regulatory process to address global warming under the Clean Air Act.
“I will continue to work with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and my colleagues to ensure we pass comprehensive climate change legislation in the Congress. But until Congress acts, the EPA must move forward to regulate greenhouse gases with the tools provided in the Clean Air Act.”
In particular, the EPA finalized an endangerment finding for six greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride. The finding states that current and projected future emissions of these six greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare of current and future generations, and therefore, the EPA must regulate these pollutants under the Clean Air Act. This finding only means the EPA can start regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act; it does not mean any entity will be regulated yet. The EPA is expected to finalize a rule to regulate mobile sources for greenhouse gases next March of 2010.