EPA Takes Big Step to Reduce Carbon Pollution

Follows Through on 2007 Supreme Court Ruling to Protect Health, Air and Climate

Washington (April 17, 2009) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Administrator Lisa Jackson made an historic announcement today to move forward with the ruling that the carbon pollution that causes global warming is a danger to public health and welfare. This action will finally enable the EPA to begin implementing the 2007 Supreme Court ruling that carbon pollution can be curbed under the Clean Air Act.

Following is a statement by David Doniger, Policy Director of the Climate Center at the Natural Resources Defense Council, and its attorney in the Supreme Court's landmark global warming case, Massachusetts v. EPA:

“At long last, the EPA has officially recognized that carbon pollution is harmful to our health and to the climate. The heat-trapping pollution from our cars and power plants leads to killer heat waves, stronger hurricanes, higher smog levels, and many other direct and indirect threats to human health.

“With this step, Administrator Lisa Jackson and the Obama administration have gone a long way to restore respect for both science and law. The era of defying science and the Supreme Court has ended. 

“Acknowledging that global warming pollution is dangerous to our health and our environment requires the EPA 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.

“The technology exists to cut carbon pollution while strengthening our economy. Mainly by increasing energy efficiency and moving to cleaner energy sources, we can create millions of jobs, save consumers billions of dollars, and cut our dangerous dependence on oil.

“We will work with the Obama administration as it carries out the existing Clean Air Act, and we look to Congress to enact a strong comprehensive climate and energy legislation.

“Cleaner energy will help America meet its greatest challenges and will be an economic engine for the 21st century. Today’s action is an important step toward making our climate and our planet safer for future generations.”

Read David Doniger’s blog: Terms of Endangerment: EPA to Cut Global Warming Pollution

Join NRDC's David Doniger for a live online discussion about EPA's endangerment on Monday, April 20, at 1 p.m. on NRDC's Switchboard.