EPA Ruling Opens Doors To US Greenhouse Gas Control

A ruling was issued yesterday by The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), stating that greenhouse gases are a recognised threat to public health, thereby providing the Obama administration with the power to regulate the emissions that fuel global warming.

According to specialists, this ruling means that the US can now control greenhouse gas emissions, regardless of whether or not the Congress adopts legislative thresholds.

The EPA has decided that global warming is a serious threat to human health and emissions have to start being controlled worldwide.

Concrete energy saving obligations could be a direct result of this new ruling, creating a worldwide requirement to become energy efficient to reduce emissions and combat climate change.

EPA's Administrator, Lisa Jackson, said that "The overwhelming amount of evidence shows the threat is real". Jackon further mentioned heat waves, asthma and rising seas as direct consequences of global warming.

Amongst the 6 greenhouse gases encompassed by the EPA's findings, CO2 is featured, which is a by-product derived from burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas).

Although no emissions restriction resulted immediately from the EPA's announcement, it provides an opportunity for stricter vehicle rules, excpected to take effect in March, and for stricter rules to be also applied to cement manufacturing, in June.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had come to the conclusion, back in 2007, that it was "highly likely" that greenhouse gases are a major contributer to an approximate 1 degree Fahrenheit rise in global average temperatures since 1905, and that it is likely that they will lead to a 3 to 7 degree rise by 2100.

Melissa McHenry, a spokeswoman for American Electric Power in Columbus, Ohio, said the ruling signaled the necessity for energy legislation, "rather than the clumsy tool of regulation," to address greenhouse gas emissions. "We've expected this announcement for months."


Tuesday 8th December 2009

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