News Flash: White House Approves Endangerment Finding
ClimateWire (subscription required) reports;
U.S. EPA’s proposed endangerment finding cleared the White House review process yesterday, paving the way for an official announcement detailing the threats posed by global warming to both public health and welfare. President Obama’s EPA inherited the global warming review following an April 2007 Supreme Court decision that ordered the Bush administration to reconsider whether greenhouse gas emissions are pollutants subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act.
Perhaps EPA could have avoided finding endangerment by focusing solely on U.S. damages and finding large off-setting U.S. benefits, but the weight of the evidence increasingly favors a finding of net losses for the U.S. (and of course even larger losses for the world as a whole).
EPA has not disclosed when it intends to make a formal finding, but presumably that won’t be that far away. This will then trigger regulatory measures to curb greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, upping the pressure on Congress to pass new climate legislation rather than allowing this awkward regulatory mechanism to take effect.