Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency signed two findings regarding greenhouse gases adding them to the Clean Air Act. These two findings named endangerment findings and cause or contribute findings help define which gases contribute the most to greenhouse effect.
Endangerment findings state that six well-mixed gases at the current concentrations threaten the public health and future welfare of society. The six gasses are carbon dixoide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydroflourocarbons, perflourocarbons and sulfur hexafluroride.
Cause or contribute findings state that well-mixed gases from new motor vehicles and engines are contributing to greenhouse gas pollution. This type of pollution threatens public health and welfare.
Representatives at the EPA stress that these findings do not impose any regulations on industry. These finding serve as a necessary step in finalizing the “proposed greenhouse gas emission standards for light duty vehicles.”
These findings have caused major controversy. This is the first time any government agency has directly linked harm to people with greenhouse gases. This announcement gives the EPA authority to regulate carbon emissions with or without Congress passing a bill.
Their regulations would affect industry and the private individual.
“These long-overdue findings cement 2009’s place in history as the year when the U.S. government began addressing the challenge of greenhouse gas pollution and seizing the opportunity of clean-energy reform,” said EPA administrator Lisa Jackson.
Private citizens, industry officials and other government officials have voiced concerns over these findings. The major concern comes from the lack of specificity in determining the actual amount of harm caused by the greenhouse gases to public health.
Along with that concern is the concern of gauging global air pollution and the effect on American industry.
“It’s going to have consequences that are very significant for our economic recovery,” said Republican Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire. “A lot of economic expansion is going to be put on hold pending what happens with these regulations. And we really can’t afford that right now,” he added