The following statement is from Earthjustice senior legislative representative Sarah Saylor regarding U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson’s statements today on the agency’s 2011 budget proposal and its determination that greenhouse gases threaten the American public’s health and welfare.
“In 2007, in its landmark Massachusetts v. EPA decision, the Supreme Court ruled that greenhouse gases are covered by the Clean Air Act, and the EPA is required to regulate them under this Act if found to endanger public health and welfare. In issuing the subsequent ‘endangerment finding’ of 2009, the EPA relied on decades of evidence, research by hundreds of the world’s leading scientists, and numerous other sources, all captured within a 200-page synthesis of major scientific assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the National Research Council, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Aeronautical and Space Administration, and numerous other U.S. government and scientific research agencies.
“Overwhelming scientific evidence shows it clearly: Climate change is real and dangerous. The Clean Air Act is one of our nation’s strongest and most effective pieces of legislation, and for 40 years we have seen that protecting the air we breathe does not have to come at a cost to the national economy — both can improve hand-in-hand. The EPA’s ability to use this act as a tool to fight climate change is critical and necessary for both the health of the American public and the growth of the US economy.
“While many of our nation’s leaders and legislators know that clean-energy policies will create jobs, jumpstart the economy, make our nation safer and more secure, and reduce harmful pollution, there are a small few who are trying to squelch action to combat global warming. A resolution to turn the clock back on implementing the Clean Air Act, led by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, would take our nation in the wrong direction and must be opposed.
“EPA and Congress must work together, not in opposition, to address climate change and secure a clean energy future. In the fight against climate change, we need as many tools as possible, and this EPA finding is one essential way forward for our country.”