EPA: Global Warming Endangers Public Health, Welfare


Next step must be strong limits on pollution that significantly curb global warming threat


Raviya Ismail, Earthjustice (202) 667-4500, ext. 221

The following statement is from Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s declaration today that global warming pollution poses a danger to the public health and welfare.

“What scientists have long known is now official U.S. policy: global warming pollution is real and has dangerous impacts on public health and the environment. The Obama administration’s announcement today acknowledges that our nation must move quickly and efficiently to achieve the cuts in carbon dioxide and other global warming pollution needed to stave off catastrophic climate change. The time for talking is over; now is the time for taking action.

“EPA has based this decision under the Clean Air Act on overwhelming scientific evidence that global warming poses a significant threat. We will look to the administration to continue along this path and take the next important step of adopting strong rules that limit global warming pollution from motor vehicles and industrial polluters.

“As nearly 200 nations begin important climate talks in Copenhagen this week, we are heartened to see that our government is recognizing the global warming threat. Earthjustice has been in the courts, in Congress, and in the international negotiations, pushing for actions to curb global warming pollution, require better energy efficiency in appliances and buildings, and promote cleaner, renewable energy sources. We urge the EPA and President Obama to advocate for action in Copenhagen and commit our country to significant global warming pollution cuts that will lead us towards a clean energy future.

“The EPA’s action today is a response to the Supreme Court’s landmark Massachusetts v. EPA decision from 2007, a case that Earthjustice argued at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2005. As Congress considers important global warming legislation, we encourage them to pass a bill that preserves the Clean Air Act tools underlying EPA’s action today. This is the most proven way our nation has to reduce air pollution and all of the damage it causes in our communities. When there is no time to waste, today’s EPA finding shows that Congress and the agency can work together to address global warming, using both the new climate bill and the tried-and-true solutions of the Clean Air Act. Clean Air Act tools are an essential part in the global warming fight and the EPA needs these tools in order to be able to protect public health and welfare from the harms of global warming.” 

About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people's health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.