Companies from General Motors (GM) to American Electric Power (AEP) are about to have their business operations radically changed by the EPA.
WSJ: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday issued a finding that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases pose a danger to the public, setting the stage for a battle over regulations that could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. economy.
Unless superseded by congressional action, the EPA finding potentially could lead to a wave of new regulations, putting stricter emissions limits on a wide range of enterprises from power plants and oil refineries to automobiles and cement makers.
Business groups have warned that using the Clean Air Act to control greenhouse gases could result in costly new burdens for businesses. Environmental groups have cheered the signals that the Obama administration would declare greenhouse gases a danger.
The finding marks a significant turn in U.S. policy on climate change. The Bush administration didn’t submit the Kyoto climate treaty negotiated under President Bill Clinton to the Senate for ratification, citing that agreement’s failure to impose limits on China and other developing economies. With Friday’s finding, the U.S. takes a big step closer to European Union allies, which have agreed to Kyoto greenhouse gas limits and are pushing for a new treaty on climate change at a meeting scheduled for December in Copenhagen.
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