After thorough review, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied petitions from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and nine other petitioners asking the administration to reconsider its December 2009 Endangerment Finding that greenhouse gas emissions pose a threat to human health and welfare.
With cap-and-trade dead in the Senate, the way is set for the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from industrial plants and vehicles through the Clean Air Act. Despite repeated efforts to thwart the EPA's endangerment finding (efforts that are intensifying among Republicans in Congress), the agency is bound both by law and science to do the job that Congress remains unable to do.
"The endangerment finding is based on years of science from the U.S. and around the world," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a statement. "These petitions -- based as they are on selectively edited, out-of-context data and a manufactured controversy -- provide no evidence to undermine our determination."
Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune issued a statement in response to EPA's denial of the petitions:
Today, the EPA took the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other climate deniers to school. Lisa Jackson’s announcement demonstrates once again the undeniable scientific evidence linking greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants to climate change and public health issues.
The science supporting the Endangerment Finding of the Clean Air Act remains strong and has been reinforced by recent additional major assessments and individual scientific studies, effectively debunking the petitioners’ claims that the science underlying the EPA’s determination was flawed or corrupted.
The evidence for the argument against the Endangerment Finding is simply not there. Nor is there support from the public for such claims.
Conservationists, members of labor community, veterans, small businesses, communities of faith, and everyday citizens all agree that something must be done to reduce global warming pollution.
The Sierra Club strongly supports EPA efforts to protect the public health and the environment, and we applaud the EPA for taking action today to ensure clean air for our communities.
Along with the Chamber of Commerce, petitioners included the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Peabody Energy Company, the State of Texas, the Ohio Coal Association, and others.