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As Copenhagen Begins, EPA Finding Underscores Need for Action

Posted on by Karina

Today, after a thorough examination, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released findings showing that greenhouse gases threaten our public health and the environment:

Endangerment Finding: The Administrator finds that the current and projected concentrations of the six key well-mixed greenhouse gases–carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)–in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.

Cause or Contribute Finding: The Administrator finds that the combined emissions of these well-mixed greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle engines contribute to the greenhouse gas pollution which threatens public health and welfare.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson on the findings»

Download the endangerment and cause or contribute findings from the EPA»

Read the technical support document for the findings from the EPA»

Speaker Pelosi on the EPA findings:

The EPA has thoroughly reviewed the scientific literature on climate change, which spans decades of research across a breadth of disciplines and across the globe. The science is clear: global warming is real, its impacts are being felt around the world, and carbon emissions present a danger to public health and the economy worldwide.

As the United Nations Climate Change Conference begins in Copenhagen today, those who fear EPA regulation of global warming pollution will find the answer in the American Clean Energy and Security Act passed by the House this year. This legislation will give businesses both certainty and flexibility, help to minimize costs to companies and consumers as we transition to clean energy, reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, and stimulate investments that will create millions of clean energy jobs.

Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and co-author of the American Clean Energy and Security Act Ed Markey (D-MA):

Now that the U.S. government has officially ended its era of climate denial, the real endangerment to our planet comes from those who continue to deny the science and delay taking any action.

The finding that global warming pollution poses a threat to human health and our environment is based on mountains of data accumulated from thousands of scientists over the course of decades. The molehill recently manufactured by a few climate deniers does not change that.

President Obama and the United States Congress can now travel to Copenhagen armed with regulatory credibility and emission reduction targets from the Waxman-Markey legislation. The world is watching, and the United States is acting.

The House passed the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act on June 26th to revitalize our economy by creating millions of new clean energy jobs that cannot be shipped overseas, increase our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and preserve our planet by reducing the carbon pollution that causes global warming. The bill will:

CREATE AND SAVE JOBS: Moving to a clean energy economy and transitioning off foreign oil will create whole new industries and millions of new jobs. A recent jobs study concluded that the American Clean Energy and Security Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act would create 1.7 million new clean energy jobs. [Center for American Progress]

MAKE US MORE ENERGY INDEPENDENT: The American Clean Energy and Security Act ” combined with the 2007 energy bill and the Obama Administration's plan to ramp up vehicle fuel efficiency standards ” will cut the use of oil by more than 5 million barrels a day in 2030. That is equivalent to all the oil we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela and one”fourth of our nation's current total daily consumption.

REDUCE POLLUTION/FIGHT GLOBAL WARMING: The American Clean Energy and Security Act would reduce total global warming emissions 83 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. The efficiency savings alone will reduce projected carbon pollution in 2020 by the equivalent of taking 57 million cars off the road for a year. [ACEEE]

KEEP COSTS LOW: Transitioning from foreign oil and creating millions of jobs will have minimal impact on average households–just 22 to 30 cents a day–less than a postage stamp — or $80 to $111 per year. [EPA] The bill helps all consumers with price spike protection, with additional monthly energy refunds so those in need will see no cost. The bill will not increase the federal deficit. Investing in energy efficiency technology will save the average American household more than $4,000 by 2030. [ACEEE]

Learn more about the House bill»

Visit the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming web site on the UN Climate Change Conference starting today in Copenhagen»

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