Last spring, the EPA ruled that it could regulate CO2 and five other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act because they are could be harmful to the health of humans. Automakers quickly responded by saying they hoped the finding wouldn't stop efforts to find a nationwide regulatory environment for emissions. In December, the EPA announced that, indeed:
greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people. EPA also finds that GHG emissions from on-road vehicles contribute to that threat.
We still don't know what these findings will mean for big polluters (including the auto industry) in the U.S. or how the EPA and the Department of Transportation will use the findings in their joint proposed standards for new light-duty vehicles, but there are a lot of political and business forces lining up now to oppose them.

The State of Texas, for example, has filed a petition to review December's endangerment finding. Texas' fight against the EPA is led by Governor Rick Perry, who said at the press conference announcing the filing that it was intended to "defend Texas' environmental successes against federal overreach." Talking Points Memo makes the case that Perry is using the filing to get more support from right-wing constituents for his upcoming re-election campaign. An alliance of conservative business groups led by the Competitive Enterprise Institute and FreedomWorks, The National Association of Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association all filed petitions against the endangerment finding recently.

[Source: Talking Points Memo, Treehugger | Image: Gary Miller/FilmMagic.com]

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