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An 'Historic' Day: From the Inhofe EPW Press Office
March 24, 2009

Posted by Matt Dempsey (202) 224-9797

An "Historic" Day

From the Inhofe EPW Press Office

Welcome to the EPW Policy Beat, a new feature that will provide daily updates on environmental policy.  Each day, the service will distribute summaries and analyses of cutting edge studies, media reports, and rapid response (the EPW “Fact of the Day”), all of which will help ensure policymakers have hard facts instead of empty rhetoric. 


What better way to commence our new feature than with EPA’s submittal to OMB of a proposed endangerment finding for greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act?  This will be the first installment of a series exploring the potential economic and legal consequences of this proposal:



According to the Washington Post, the Environmental Protection Agency will propose that greenhouse gases, including CO2, a gas necessary to sustaining life on Earth, endanger public health and welfare.  This is a move that, according to the Post, “could have far-reaching implications for the nation’s economy and environment.”  Predictably, environmental groups, which have been agitating for this outcome for years, were gushing with delight over this latest action by EPA.  “This is historic news,” said Clean Air Watch’s Frank O’Donnell.  “It will set the stage for the first-ever national limits on global warming pollution.”  David Bookbinder, an attorney with the Sierra Club, was equally effusive: “They’re making all the right decisions.”


FACT: EPA’s finding is indeed historic news, for the simple fact that it will enlarge EPA’s regulatory reach to an unprecedented degree, extending it into every corner of the US economy, causing enormous economic damage.  According to Peter Glaser, a national legal expert on the Clean Air Act, an endangerment finding will lead to new EPA regulations covering virtually everything, including “office buildings, apartment buildings, warehouse and storage buildings, educational buildings, health care buildings such as hospitals and assisted living facilities, hotels, restaurants, religious worship buildings, public assembly buildings, supermarkets, retail malls, agricultural facilities…and many others.”  An array of new development projects could be delayed, perhaps for several years, causing “an economic train wreck.”  This conclusion was supported recently by the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis, which found that EPA’s new carbon regulations would destroy over 800,000 jobs and result in a cumulative GDP loss of $7 trillion by 2029. 

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