Important EPA Finding
In addition to its other responsibilities, OMB reviews proposed regulations and coordinates an interagency review process. We have now concluded review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) proposed finding that emissions of greenhouse gases from motor vehicles contribute to air pollution that endangers public health and welfare.
EPA's proposed finding closely follows the language of the Clean Air Act, and includes two components.
First, certain greenhouse gas emissions constitute air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare.
Second, emissions from motor vehicles cause or contribute to that air pollution.
The proposed finding is carefully rooted in both law and science. In Massachusetts v. EPA (2007), the Supreme Court found that greenhouse gases count as "air pollutants" under the motor vehicle emissions provisions of the Clean Air Act, and signaled that EPA should answer the question whether greenhouse gas emissions are air pollution that endangers the public health and welfare. After an extensive analysis of the scientific evidence, and a careful process of interagency review, the EPA proposes to answer that question in the affirmative.
By itself, the EPA’s proposed finding imposes no regulation. (Indeed, by itself, it requires nothing at all.) If and when the endangerment finding is made final, the EPA will turn to the question whether and how to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new automobiles. The President has made it clear that he wants to move the nation toward clean energy, and that part of that effort involves a legislative approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions under a "cap and trade" program. Such a program would be more effective and efficient than most types of regulation. While such a program is being debated in the Congress, however, the Administration is following both the science and the law with regard to the Clean Air Act.
Learn more about the finding here.
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