The EPA's decision today to declare carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases dangerous pollutants could have enormous consequences for US businesses, writes Andy Stone in Forbes. The big winner: green technology. The ruling could eventually give the EPA unprecedented regulatory control over everything from power plants to oil refineries to automobiles. The US Chamber of Commerce says the decision could wreak havoc on the economy.
"This is a huge turning point," said a spokesman for the Sierra Club. "The effect on the energy market will be immediate." The EPA decision comes as Congress continues work on climate-change and energy legislation, including a cap-and-trade proposal. Any such legislation that emerges could supersede the EPA ruling, a situation both President Obama and EPA chief Lisa P. Jackson actually prefer. They want regulation to be the result of laws, not EPA dictates.