We wonder if industries will have to affix Surgeon General labels on their plants:
Having received White House backing, the Environmental Protection Agency declared Friday that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are a significant threat to human health and thus will be listed as pollutants under the Clean Air Act — a policy the Bush administration rejected.
You’ll remember that this became a point in the last election, with fears of backyard barbecues being shut down. But the intent is more likely this:
The move could allow the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases, but it's more likely that the Obama administration will use the action to prod Congress to pass regulations around a system to cap and then trade emissions so that they are gradually lowered.
As you might expect, the usual suspects have lined up. One one side:
The EPA should be required "to follow up with standards under the Clean Air Act, the nation's most effective environmental law, to curb carbon pollution from our cars, power plants and other industrial sources," said David Doniger, climate policy director at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
And on the other:
"It will require a huge cascade of (new clean air) permits" and halt a wide array of projects, from building coal plants to highway construction, including many at the heart of economic recovery plan,” Bill Kovacs, a vice president for environmental issues at the [Chamber of commerce], said when the EPA's recommendations were made last month.
We suspect EPA Director Lisa Jackson has at the least put Congress on alert that fussing too much about cap-and-trade may not be too wise, since EPA regulation can cover a lot of territory – in other words, a little political gameplaying.
When you have a yen for kabob – or a quick trip to Canada.