Carol Browner, the climate czar for the President, tells the Wall Street Journal that the EPA will soon determine that carbon-dioxide emissions represent a danger to the public.
Officially recognising that carbon dioxide is a danger to the public would require the government, under the Clean Air Act, to draw up regulations governing greenhouse-gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, refineries, chemical plants, cement firms, vehicles and any other emitting sectors.
Administration officials have said they would limit regulation to facilities over a certain size. But legal experts say designating carbon dioxide a public danger could open up any emitters to legal challenge. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers have been lobbying the EPA for months against trying to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, warning that such action would lead to costly new regulations affecting not only coal plants and large manufacturers but also schools, apartment buildings and hospitals.
…Speaking to governors and reporters later Sunday, Ms. Browner said the administration also is seeking to establish a national policy for auto emissions that could mean tougher efficiency mandates for auto makers. The White House said Sunday that the standard would be developed as part of the continuing restructuring negotiations between the government and major auto makers.