Friday, April 17, 2009

The All Powerful EPA

Today could possibly be a turning point in American energy policy because the EPA finally declared carbon-dioxide and other global warming gases that harm the public's health. All of these gases have been contributed to global warming, so regulation on global warming gases could possibly happen soon. These findings correlate extremely well with President Obama's wish for a low-carbon emission economy. The current possibility would be for the EPA to handle all of the administrative aspects of getting the gases under control, but certain members of the President's staff would like Congress to handle the regulation. This is also beneficial because this will allow Congress to pass the cap-and-trade system they want to for carbon emissions.

Amazingly, these findings were discovered almost two years by the EPA in a Supreme Court case, but the Bush administration covered up the facts to prevent any regulation. The findings were one of the first thing that President Obama said he would look at when he took office and now he will be able to regulate global warming gases. The finding looked at 6 gases that were: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. These gases are believed to be responsible for temperature increases and other climate conditions as a response to human activity. The increased amount of droughts, floods, heat waves, more intense storms, and effects to agriculture and water resources can be a result of the increased concentrations of these gases. The EPA's announcement will allow for policy to be written to limit these gases, which in turn will allow for a worldwide policy on climate change that can hopefully be met unlike the Kyoto Protocol.

Hopefully, it is not too late to try to curve of love of carbon emitting sources of energy, but we as a population do not really have any carbon-free energy sources that can be used in the next couple of years to greatly reduce our carbon emissions. The way everything in the world is manufactured will need to be changed in order to meet the new policies when they are passed. The proposal that is being discussed would give the EPA the ability to regulate every part of the economy. I personally think that is too much power for one arm of the government. I think there should be a new agency that works with the EPA to make sure all the regulations are being followed because there would be just too much for the EPA to do and I do not know how effectively and efficiently they could handle their new position.


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