Saturday, April 18, 2009

EPA could get draconian powers of business, even individuals

The EPA has a major press release, covered in the media, “Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act”. The press release (here), starts with a charge based on a Supreme Court ruling on Massachusetts v. EPA in 2007. The actual opinion is still available at the Supreme Court’s website here. The EPA writes “he Court held that the Administrator must determine whether or not emissions of greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles cause or contribute to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare, or whether the science is too uncertain to make a reasoned decision.”

However the Administrator has proposed that six specific gasses carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) represent a public health threat to current and future generations. The EPA calls this “The Endangerment Finding”.

Does this mean that some day the government can police the consumption habits of individual Americans? Not right away, but people said that back in the 1970s before Jimmy Carter took office, and it didn’t exactly happen. (Remember the time when 1981 was viewed as the end of time.)

This time the pressure on people to recognize “generativity” seems all the more pressing, because of some very “inconvenient truths.”

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