Washington, D.C. – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson announced today that the agency is proposing a major finding on global warming that lays the groundwork for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA’s proposed finding concludes that greenhouse gases contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health and welfare. Under the Clean Air Act, once the EPA makes such a finding, the agency is required to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
Today’s announcement is not only an important step toward addressing one of the biggest challenges of our time; it is also a clear sign that President Obama is delivering the change our country and our planet need,” said Merkley. “I applaud the Obama administration for embracing sound science after eight years of delay and denial.”
“This finding by the EPA highlights the need for Congress to move quickly to develop solutions to global warming and create a strong framework for a renewable energy economy. It’s now clear that under federal law, we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the best approach is to put a cap on global warming pollution. That will not only improve the health of our planet and our people, it will spur economic growth and the development of renewable energy technologies, from wind power and energy-efficient buildings to high-speed rail and electric cars.
“For eight long years, the previous administration ignored science and denied their responsibility to address global warming. Today the Obama Administration sent a strong message to the rest of the world that the U.S. is ready to lead and become an active partner in the fight against global warming.” said Merkley.
The proposed finding by the EPA concludes that greenhouse gas emissions endanger the public health of children, low-income Americans, the disabled, and the elderly as well as threaten the public welfare of U.S. citizens. The EPA also concludes that the warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions endangers public welfare by threatening water supplies, agriculture production, and ecosystems and threatens communities with rising sea levels, increased flooding and intensified storms, drought, heat waves, and wildfires.