EPA Greenhouse Gas Health Ruling a Shot in the Arm for FL Plans
Monday, April 20, 2009
Florida Governor Charlie Crist may have new support for his initiatives on reducing greenhouse gas pollution. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a finding that such carbon pollution is a danger to human health and to the climate, because of more smog, more intense hurricanes and killer heat waves. The EPA action is seen as the first step towards federal regulation on limiting carbon air pollution from cars and trucks, power plants, and factories.
Dr. Amanda Staudt, climate scientist with the National Wildlife Federation, says the ruling is just what's needed, especially for those most at risk.
"Many of the health effects will disproportionately affect the poor, elderly and frail, and urban dwellers, which makes them an important environmental justice consideration."
Critics are concerned that regulation will lead to higher costs, will hurt the economy, and lead to legal battles. Staudt says the finding could boost the economy instead, by supporting Governor Crist's mandates to develop renewable energy, clean car requirements, and green jobs.
Joe Mendelson is the Global Warming Policy Director for the National Wildlife Federation. He says the EPA ruling will play well at the next round of global climate talks.
"This will be the largest step that the federal government will have taken, to date, on fighting climate change. It will be the first step toward mandatory reduction in U.S. global warming pollution."
Congress will be looking at the implications this week during hearings on draft climate and energy legislation that sets the framework for a cap-and-trade program to control carbon air pollution.
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