EPA's CO2 Ruling May Have Huge Impact

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 17, 2009 1:58 PM CDT

(Newser) – 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.

A flock of geese fly past a smokestack at the Jeffery Energy Center coal power plant near Emmitt, Kan. Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009.
A flock of geese fly past a smokestack at the Jeffery Energy Center coal power plant near Emmitt, Kan. Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
In this 2007 file photo, Sunflower Electric Cooperative's coal-fired power plant churns out electricity in Holcomb, Kan.
In this 2007 file photo, Sunflower Electric Cooperative's coal-fired power plant churns out electricity in Holcomb, Kan.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, file)
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The EPA may now be able to regulate more than 1 million entities for carbon dioxide emissions, ranging from office buildings to churches that burn natural gas for heating.
- Andy Stone, Forbes

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