EPA declares air a danger to human health

posted at 2:30 pm on December 7, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

For the first time ever, the Environmental Protection Agency has declared a naturally-occurring substance in the air a danger to human health.  Carbon dioxide, which has existed as a major component of Earth’s atmosphere for billions of years — and which is necessary for plant growth — is now a declared pollutant.  The determination gives the EPA wide-ranging authority over the operations of energy production and manufacturing:

The Environmental Protection Agency has concluded greenhouse gases are endangering people’s health and must be regulated, signaling that the Obama administration is prepared to contain global warming without congressional action if necessary. …

Under a Supreme Court ruling, the so-called endangerment finding is needed before the EPA can regulate carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases released from power plants, factories and automobiles under the federal Clean Air Act.

The EPA signaled last April that it was inclined to view heat-trapping pollution as a threat to public health and welfare and began to take public comments under a formal rulemaking. The action marked a reversal from the Bush administration, which had declined to aggressively pursue the issue.

Business groups have strongly argued against tackling global warming through the regulatory process of the Clean Air Act. Any such regulations are likely to spawn lawsuits and lengthy legal fights.

The EPA and the Obama administration threatened to do this when their cap-and-trade bill first began to stall on Capitol Hill.  The determination of CO2 as a pollutant — which is patently ridiculous on its face — allows the White House to bypass Congress and begin dictating to producers on carbon-emission reductions.

Don’t kid yourself into thinking the EPA doesn’t understand the scope of its power.  By classifying CO2 and methane (among other so-called greenhouse gases, it can inject itself into just about every industry in the US.  Energy production will be its primary target, but the EPA has also gone after coal mining on the basis of the Clean Water Act; it will certainly not be shy about using this new authority to kill coal mining altogether.  It will also impact agriculture, especially dairies and cattle ranching, as well as transportation.  The entire manufacturing sector will have to answer for its output.

This really is the worst of all outcomes.  The EPA process can be restrained by Congress, but it will take positive action for that to happen — and in most cases, would take the assent of Barack Obama.  About the only way  Congress could stop the EPA’s effort to seize control of production without Obama would be to defund the agency, or at least its regulatory efforts.  That certainly won’t happen with the current Congress.


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But of course this doesn’t even matter, as it’s not the naturally-occurring levels of CO2 (or CO) that the EPA is concerned about.

orange on December 7, 2009 at 8:23 PM

Where exactly is the non-naturally occurring CO2 coming from? Unicorns? Fairies? Will the ban on pixie dust be following? Have you always been this stupid?

jdkchem on December 7, 2009 at 9:58 PM

Is it still too early to talk about secession?

Rebar on December 7, 2009 at 9:58 PM

A major component of the atmosphere? Are you kidding me?

e-pirate on December 7, 2009 at 9:26 PM

Are you that stupid? No CO2 no life. That seems pretty major to me but I’m just a lowly chemist.

jdkchem on December 7, 2009 at 10:02 PM

No CO2 no life. That seems pretty major to me but I’m just a lowly chemist.

jdkchem on December 7, 2009 at 10:02 PM

How dare you attempt to inject logical rationality into a religious debate?

Who do you think you are, Galileo or something? Heretic!

Gilda on December 7, 2009 at 10:08 PM

A major component of the atmosphere? Are you kidding me?
e-pirate on December 7, 2009 at 9:26 PM

Are you that stupid? No CO2 no life. That seems pretty major to me but I’m just a lowly chemist.

jdkchem on December 7, 2009 at 10:02 PM

That was a rhetorical question, wasn’t it?

AZfederalist on December 7, 2009 at 10:12 PM

Is it still too early to talk about secession?

Rebar on December 7, 2009 at 9:58 PM

Personally I think we should consider forcing Washington D.C. to secede from us.

Oldnuke on December 7, 2009 at 10:25 PM

Next up, outlawing Nitrogen. oh wait . .

MirCat on December 7, 2009 at 10:26 PM

Next up, outlawing Nitrogen. oh wait . .

MirCat on December 7, 2009 at 10:26 PM

Carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen they’ve all got to go. We must also maintain the purity of our precious bodily fluids too!

Oldnuke on December 7, 2009 at 10:29 PM

Personally I think we should consider forcing Washington D.C. to secede from us.

Oldnuke on December 7, 2009 at 10:25 PM

Hmmm, now there is an idea worth considering…

doriangrey on December 7, 2009 at 10:35 PM

Trust me: Fear the EPA as much as crap and trade.

mobydutch on December 7, 2009 at 10:38 PM

God damned psychos.

HAnthonyWayne on December 7, 2009 at 10:38 PM

We must also maintain the purity of our precious bodily fluids too!

Oldnuke on December 7, 2009 at 10:29 PM

Uh, actually, I’m thinkin’ that Liberals won’t be happy until all of us “deniers” have had all of our bodily fluids replaced with nothing but formaldehyde. Then we won’t be complaining. Or expelling CO2.

oldleprechaun on December 7, 2009 at 10:41 PM

We must also maintain the purity of our precious bodily fluids too!

Oldnuke on December 7, 2009 at 10:29 PM

“…Col. Batguano, if that if is your real name…”

One of the best movies ever made.

BobMbx on December 7, 2009 at 11:03 PM

It’s time to dismantle the EPA

J_Crater on December 7, 2009 at 11:17 PM

Is it still too early to talk about secession?

Rebar on December 7, 2009 at 9:58 PM

If it was, it ain’t any more.

Personally, I like Oldnuke’s idea better, but I think we’d be better served if we just burnt the place to the damn ground, not leave a single brick standing.

Ok… save the library of congress, but everything else burns.

Chaz706 on December 7, 2009 at 11:32 PM

Trust me: Fear the EPA as much as crap and trade.

mobydutch on December 7, 2009 at 10:38 PM

How do you think Cass Sunstein is gonna “nudge” you into Cap & Trade?

It’s all part of their grand plan. REVOLUTION

Flyboy on December 7, 2009 at 11:48 PM

Texas has a big target painted on it’s back. This WSJ article has a graph that points out that Texas has the highest emissions.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126013960013179181.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

Penn runs blue and Texas runs red. Which state do you think the EPA will go after first?

journeyintothewhirlwind on December 8, 2009 at 12:24 AM

The fight has been going on for centuries and that is why I say environmentalists are nothing more then modern day pagans pushing their religion on the rest of us. Our problem is our failure to recognize them as the pagans there are.

RagTag on December 7, 2009 at 8:46 PM

The pagan temples had resident prostitutes to service the pagan worshipers. Interestingly, Copenhagen also has resident prostitutes which service the greenies for free.

This is entirely consistent, as the main thrust of paganism is to devalue human life.

So the decision going forward is:

Are we a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”

…or are we going to be a “government at the people, by the elite, against the people”??

Watch for the pagans to try to give insects the vote!!! (which vote can be interpreted only by the pagans)

landlines on December 8, 2009 at 12:45 AM

The other benefit to Obama in doing it this way is that enforcement can be arbitrary and targeted. He can use this as a terror weapon against businesses and industries he doesn’t like or needs support from…as we will soon see.

AUINSC on December 7, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Wealth RE-Distribution

scruplesrx on December 8, 2009 at 1:07 AM

The pagan temples had resident prostitutes to service the pagan worshipers. Interestingly, Copenhagen also has resident prostitutes which service the greenies for free.

landlines on December 8, 2009 at 12:45 AM

I can say with certainty that you are wrong about not only Pagan Priestesses having sex (forbidden in near every corner of Pagan Europe) but about Paganism devaluaing Human life.

The Vestal Virgins of Rome were required to take oaths of celibacy and breaking that oath was punished with being buried alive. And the Paramour was publicly whipped to death at either the Forum Boarium or the Comitium.

Tacitus mentioned in GErmania that the Germans did not practice Abortion or Infantile Abandonment. So much for devaluing human life eh?

Holger on December 8, 2009 at 1:20 AM

I tell you, Obama doesn’t care if he gets a second term. Once he sets up regulatory schemes like this one, he owns the country.

You think the RINOs are going to repeal the stimulus or Obamacare or this ruling? Dream on…

PattyJ on December 8, 2009 at 1:41 AM

Try breathing in H2O. Thats a killer, lets ban it too. Wait Why are we taxing mt.dew. Lets tax H2O!! God knows if a child breaths in second hand H2O they will surely die.

Indian Outlaw on December 8, 2009 at 1:45 AM

This really is the worst of all outcomes.

Ruin, if it occurs, will destroy much that is weak and stupid, so it won’t be wholly bad.

Kralizec on December 8, 2009 at 1:59 AM

Great analogy. There is quite a bit of ice (i.e glaciers) on Pluto but alas, not so many plants there either.

*rolls eyes so fast they pop out onto floor and roll under couch*

Bishop on December 7, 2009 at 2:45 PM

That’s the point, genius. Just because something is good at one level doesn’t mean it’s good at all levels, whether it’s ice or CO2.

Proud Rino on December 7, 2009 at 2:47 PM

Bishop feeds you the truth on a Silver Platter, and you spit it back like a petulant child.

You’re starving your own intellect, and you don’t even know it.
But the emaciation is very clear to most observers.

It looks like this.

soundingboard on December 8, 2009 at 2:14 AM

There goes the “recovery”.

Anil Petra on December 8, 2009 at 2:18 AM

That’s the point, genius. Just because something is good at one level doesn’t mean it’s good at all levels, whether it’s ice or CO2.
Proud Rino on December 7, 2009 at 2:47 PM

Okey dokey, professor, you be sure to forward all the data you have about what the proper level of CO2 in our atmosphere is and what the proper amount of glacial ice should be. While you’re at it, I could use an exact Earth temperature so I know when the globe has sufficiently cooled; we wouldn’t want to go overboard with our programs and accidentally precipitate another ice age.

But no data from East Anglia CRU, I hear their information might have been compromised.

Bishop on December 7, 2009 at 2:53 PM

OK, perfect illustration of my previous post.

You refused the offer PR, and Bishop Just. Ate. Your. Lunch.

soundingboard on December 8, 2009 at 2:38 AM

This was based on a Supreme Court ruling because of the wording of the law passed to establish the EPA. On that basis the law could be changed and the CO2 threat would disappear. In a face to face my congressman was asked to do that and he ah’ed and hmmmm’ed and said he’d check into it. Never heard from him. Time to write again, and to be ignored again.

You know, there is something to be said about frontier justice.

amr on December 8, 2009 at 7:34 AM

Let’s defund EPA. Then impeach Obama.

petefrt on December 8, 2009 at 8:24 AM

Is Obama insane? We’ll wind up in a depression.

No, he isn’t. That’s the point. The Joker knows exactly what he’s doing.

SagebrushPuppet on December 8, 2009 at 8:34 AM

We are in a full blown revolution; The U.S. Government against the people of America.

Cybergeezer on December 8, 2009 at 8:36 AM

Will asthmatics get a tax credit?

kingsjester on December 8, 2009 at 8:37 AM

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/05/the-smoking-code-part-2/

Rob Greiner at wattsupwiththat.com does an interesting critique of the methods used by CRU and Michael Mann et al. to arrive upon the infamous “hockey stick” graph.

Basically, Greiner demonstrates graphically and with code that the scientists weighted annual temperatures to report a sharp increase over a period of time, hence, a hockey stick effect shown.

He goes on to show that the same method, applied to another data set would return the same effect–essentially nullifying the results and conclusions made by Mann et al.

An interesting read. Check it.

ted c on December 8, 2009 at 8:46 AM

I really gotta see how they plan to produce more oxygen to counteract this trend!! That’ll be a gas!! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!! LTM (laugh to myself)
They already have a plan to produce more water!!!!! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha;What a riot!!!!
If they’re this good, why don’t they produce more food for the worlds starving populations? They could tax that too!
We already have daylight savings time; When are they going to tell us how much daylight they are saving, but have to start taxing per daylight hour?
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha…………………………..

Cybergeezer on December 8, 2009 at 8:47 AM

Welcome to slavery, America.

Most of the AGW cultists use the number of 350ppm as a target we need to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations to.

With the data supporting AGW shaky (fraudulently manipulated) at best, does anyone seriously expect our new world order overlords to tell us when we have reached the ’350′ mark?

cntrlfrk on December 8, 2009 at 8:58 AM

The Supreme Court’s decision comes as Congress is moving into high gear on new legislation to cap and reduce global warming pollution from all major sources across the economy. And major U.S. businesses are supporting limits on heat-trapping emissions. This January NRDC joined General Electric, DuPont, BP and several other businesses and environmental groups in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, which endorses substantial, enforceable limits on global warming pollution.

Press Release on the day of the catastrophic supreme court ruling on co2. Notice any of Obama’s Green Scam friends?

marklmail on December 8, 2009 at 8:59 AM

Are you that stupid? No CO2 no life. That seems pretty major to me but I’m just a lowly chemist.

jdkchem on December 7, 2009 at 10:02 PM

You’re also an idiot.

There’s obviously no risk we run out of CO2, so no worry there.

My issue was “major component” implies that CO2 is a large percentage of the atmosphere. It’s not even close.

e-pirate on December 8, 2009 at 9:09 AM

Welcome to slavery, America.

cntrlfrk on December 8, 2009 at 8:58 AM

OMG yes!

They might make you check the emissions on your car now. Oh wait, you already have to do that.

Anyway, this is exactly like slavery.

e-pirate on December 8, 2009 at 9:10 AM

http://www.globalwarming.org/2009/12/07/white-house-issues-economically-ruinous-endangerment-rule/

Any source that emits more than 250 tons of CO2 per year now falls under EPA control.

Al Gore’s place may or may not be hit by this, but any building that larger almost certainly will.

This means that the factory or office building where you work, will have to do an Environmental Impact Study and get EPA approval before ANY changes can be made to the building or it’s contents.

Additionally, outside groups have a chance to challenge the request in court before the EPA can rule.

Do you guys have any idea how expensive an impact study and all of the associated legal expenses can be? Business in this country is going to grind to a halt.

Worst of all, now that the EPA has made this ruling, even if Obama decided to hold back, he couldn’t. This is what the law requires, and there are no loopholes in the law for economically or politically inconvenient consequences. Republicans tried to put such conditions into the law, but the Democrats, and the behest of the environmental extremists fought against it and won.

By 2012, unless a law is passed declaring that the EPA cannot regulate CO2, businesses, in every state of the union will be feeling the pain. And if you think unemployment is bad now, just wait.

MarkTheGreat on December 8, 2009 at 9:18 AM

OMG yes!

They might make you check the emissions on your car now. Oh wait, you already have to do that.

Anyway, this is exactly like slavery.

e-pirate on December 8, 2009 at 9:10 AM

Are you really this stupid, or do you just like playing the moron for TV?

1) Very few people have to check their car emissions every year.
2) Such checks wouldn’t have any impact on CO2 emissions anyway.
3) The EPA has been given the power to regulate everything that emitts CO2. Which means our homes, businesses, retail outlets, everything.

Every new car design will have to get the EPA seal of approval, subject to lawsuits by those who disagree with the ruling, before they can be built.

Every new large building will have to get EPA approval before it can be built, subject to lawsuits by those who disagree with the ruling, before it can be built.

Any modifications to existing buildings will be subject to the same process.

MarkTheGreat on December 8, 2009 at 9:23 AM

Can you say V.e.n.e.z.u.e.l.a?

Nalea on December 8, 2009 at 9:53 AM

RagTag on December 7, 2009 at 5:42 PM

Ha ha! No unions out here friend.
In fact, bcs of worker’s comp, ins. requirements & a whole list of govt regs, we can’t afford a hired man.

Badger40 on December 8, 2009 at 10:01 AM

So its finally happened. Photosynthesis has been outlawed.

red131 on December 8, 2009 at 10:08 AM

I was wondering where you were.

upinak on December 7, 2009 at 6:06 PM

Still here.
Busy chasing my cow bitches back into the fence.
Farmer stuck a tasty looking wheat pile next to the fence & it’s way too tempting for them.
Good thing I empty the pickup of guns before I go chasing them.
It’s too much temptation to go shooting at them!

Badger40 on December 8, 2009 at 10:09 AM

Well that’s good news for us–for now anyways.

Tio on December 7, 2009 at 5:49 PM

It’s coming.
Only gigantic corporate farms will soon be able to afford to comply with these rules.
And someday, the only farms that can operate will be in countries where emissions aren’t regulated.
Look for China & India to be your new food producers.

Badger40 on December 8, 2009 at 11:14 AM

EPA= Epic Platitudinous Ass-holes

jgdp on December 8, 2009 at 11:18 AM

Is it still too early to talk about secession?

Rebar on December 7, 2009 at 9:58 PM

No, it’s time to get these idiots out of office. Public lynching might not be a bad idea for spreading all this propaganda.

la.rt.wngr on December 8, 2009 at 11:34 AM

I wonder. If they put some sort of strict limit on emissions, wouldn’t any company with lots of workers be subject to restriction? Wal-Mart, for example, has lots of CO2-emitting employees standing around.

Question for the greens. Are you advocating the destruction of methane-producing herd animals to “save nature”? Boy, I’m glad we killed off all the buffalo, just imagine what they’d be doing to the environment.

hawksruleva on December 8, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Oh, and parents with lots of kids get in trouble for this? How many breathers will we be allowed to create before we get fined?

hawksruleva on December 8, 2009 at 11:42 AM

He goes on to show that the same method, applied to another data set would return the same effect–essentially nullifying the results and conclusions made by Mann et al.

An interesting read. Check it.

ted c on December 8, 2009 at 8:46 AM

Their methodology was so wired to the desired conclusion that any set of data, even a random set of numbers, would yield an essentially hockey-stick like shape.

hawksruleva on December 8, 2009 at 11:44 AM

I’ve come to the conclusion this is a good thing.

Let the liberals reveal themselves as the insane and callous tyrants they are. The American people will not long put up with regulations that cripple the economy and doom them to poverty.

Sackett on December 7, 2009 at 4:28 PM

WRONG!

The American people are being DESENSITIZED to this kind of tyranny, which grows drip by drip. It’s very subtle and insidious.

Look how many people voted for Barry.

fossten on December 8, 2009 at 12:02 PM

EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, pardon me for breathing.

I guess, President Obama will have to pardon me. : (

Angry Dumbo on December 8, 2009 at 1:32 PM

This is great actually. It guarantees that the Democrats will lose the majority on Capiol Hill in the next election and that the Obomoron will only be a one term president.

TrickyDick on December 8, 2009 at 1:37 PM

The EPA is lying when they claim that they won’t have to act if congress passes Cap and Trade.

The law is clear in this matter. Once a finding of endangerment is made, the EPA has to act. If they fail to pass legislation, they can, and will be sued by various environut groups compelling them to act.

The endangerment finding was the point of no return. The only possible out is for congress to pass a bill that removes the EPA’s power to regulate CO2. Republicans have already introduced such a bill, but it is going nowhere so long as the Democrats own congress and the White House.

MarkTheGreat on December 8, 2009 at 2:14 PM

So, we’re to have our health care options dictated by Kathleen Sebelius and every other aspect of our lives controlled by Lisa Jackson (figurehead) and Carol Browner. What a world.

Never forget that we have Justice John Paul Stevens to thank for the classification of CO2 as a pollutant subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act. And we have Congress to thank for yet another sloppily written piece of legislation that can be ill-used by a regulatory-mad bureaucracy. Surely every Republican, and not a few Democrats, who voted for the Act would now protest, “But this is not what we intended, not what we intended at all…”

SukieTawdry on December 8, 2009 at 2:42 PM

My tree is pissed!
And there is a lot of CO2 coming out of Congress right now. How about the EPA shutting them up?

Uniblogger on December 8, 2009 at 3:08 PM

because they intend to tax you for every breath you take.

Oh can’t you see?
It all belongs to me.
All the money you make.
We’re going to take.

Every breath you take…

karl9000 on December 8, 2009 at 5:36 PM

CO2: That’s not the gas I USED to know…

Roy Rogers on December 8, 2009 at 7:18 PM

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