The Environmental Protection Agency just released a landmark decision concluding that greenhouse gas emissions pose a threat to human health and welfare. The action was based on a 2007 Supreme Court ruling ordering EPA to assess the health impacts of climate change. The Bush White House never completed that study. Now the Obama EPA is in position to slap controls on U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide and other global warming pollutants -- although the agency indicated that it won't rush to impose new regulations.
Will the EPA's action compel Congress to pass climate change legislation? How will it impact U.S. industry? Will the Obama administration's willingness to consider greenhouse gas regulations make it easier for the White House to negotiate an international treaty at the December United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change? If Congress is slow to pass climate change legislation, should EPA begin regulating those pollutants?
-- Margaret Kriz, NationalJournal.com