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EPA Issues Final Endangerment Finding for Greenhouse Gases

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its final endangerment finding on greenhouse gases (GHGs), concluding that greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people. EPA also finds that GHG emissions from on-road vehicles contribute to that threat.

EPA’s final findings respond to the 2007 US Supreme Court decision that GHGs fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants. (Earlier post.) The findings do not in and of themselves require, or impose any emission reduction requirements but rather allow EPA to finalize the GHG standards proposed earlier this year for new light-duty vehicles as part of the joint rulemaking with the Department of Transportation. (Earlier post.) EPA has not yet proposed GHG rules for stationary sources.

“Today’s finding is based on decades of research by hundreds of researchers. The vast body of evidence not only remains unassailable, it’s grown stronger, and it points to one conclusion: greenhouse gases from human activity are increasing at unprecedented rates and are adversely affecting our environment and threatening our health.”
—EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson

EPA’s endangerment finding covers emissions of six key greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride—that have been the subject of scrutiny and intense analysis for decades by scientists in the United States and around the world.

EPA issued the proposed findings in April 2009 (earlier post) and held a 60-day public comment period. The agency received more than 380,000 comments, which were reviewed and considered during the development of the final findings. EPA will publish its responses to the volumes of public comment on its website.

On-road vehicles contribute more than 23% of total US GHG emissions. EPA’s proposed GHG standards for light-duty vehicles would reduce GHG emissions by nearly 950 million metric tons and conserve 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of model year 2012-2016 vehicles, according to EPA analysis.




After nearly all governments and studies reach this conclusion, why is there so still much debate in the US.

Account Deleted

Finally the scientific community is heard by a very influential regulatory body. This could bring real change in the US if the EPA is not obstructed for political reasons. The latter is probably less likely with the current administration but you never know.

Very few times in history science actually discovers something that has profound effect on how humans think of themselves. The last time it happened was when Charles Darwin showed we were a product of long-term evolutionary processes just like any other species. This time thousands of scientists are slowly but steadily proving that this animal (mankind) is capable of seriously changing the climate of an entire planet and that it could potentially change so fast that it will result in mass-extinction of life.

There will always be deniers that will never accept the truth no matter how obvious. Hopefully, this time it will take less time to convince mainly politicians and business leaders that they need to act. They have a great opportunity to do so right now at COP15 in Copenhagen.


Henrik - Very well said. Many of us feel the same way and many more will in the future.

I recently watched an interesting documentary on Balona Creek (LA/Cal/USA) and on the Pacific Ocean plastic patches. With up to 46,000+ plastic debris by Km2, the Ocean and its inhabitants are having more and more difficulties to cope with our manmade garbage.

The time has come to transform all our garbage into clean energy instead of polluting the creeks, rivers and oceans with it.

Sooner or later we will have to pay more attention to the environment if we want to survive.

Let's hope that the majority will rise to the task and react while it is still time.


"After nearly all governments and studies reach this conclusion, why is there so still much debate in the US."

One big word: CLIMATEGATE

The fraud has been uncovered and the culprits are being dragged kicking and screaming into the the bright light of truth.


Now even the most diehard of unhappy greens will appreciate this:

A sense of humor is key to clean living. Happy Holidays!!


Using quotes out of context is the real fraud. Let's put them back into context;

It's funny you should mention Charles Darwin. I've come to the conclusion the reason many AGW denialists don't accept what the climate scientists are saying is because they're still up set with Charles Darwin for insulting GOD. In fact I once had a talk with a guy who said 'GW couldn't be real because if it was the ice caps would melt, that would flood the world and' ...(wait for it)... "God promised Noah he wouldn't do that again."

Think that's a joke? Well on this very forum we have a guy who tried to disprove AGW with a link to a Bible prophecy website.


There are definitely many incompetent people that prefer for 'god' to manage their lives for them.

There are many of 'his' 'representative on earth' that think that they should manage other peoples affairs and finances.
There are also different approaches fro different religious peoples including respect for nature, Darwin and responsible stewardship.

I guess it would be wrong to use the same brush.


That is also true;

Now is the time for followers of Christ to help solve the global warming crisis. There is overwhelming evidence that human activity is a major cause, and we know that the impacts of climate change would be hardest on the poor and vulnerable, and on future generations. · We need to act, and everyone has a role. Christian leaders can join more than 280 other senior evangelical leaders who have signed the Evangelical Call to Action on Climate Change. As Christian citizens we can learn more, make personal changes, and rally action. For policymakers, it’s time to make wise and moral choices to protect God’s world and its people. · Join us. Take the next step.


ai vin - The problem is not a belief in God, but a belief that man is more important than God. I once had a discussion with a self proclaimed "believer" who said he did not believe in global warming because God would not do that to mankind. I asked him if God had not brought the flood, killed of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, allowed the plague to kill 1/3 of the population during the middle ages. I acknowledged that God may be in control, but we cannot know how he He (She) will balance nature. We (he and I) may not be here after the plan is executed.

He had to think about that.


When we can no longer outshout the truth we drag in a religious argument and claim our opponents are heretics. Truly the bottom feeders of debate.

"The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate."

No Phil. The inadequacy is in your command of something called ethics. Maybe you should petition the lord with prayer.


As soon as the republicans re-emerge, they will put the kybosh on this nonsense. Luckily the wars, recession & health care debate aren't going to result in the EPA hiring an army of wackos to go out & do enforcement on a radical new set of rules and regs...if the economy was booming, health care a non-issue & no GWOT - this administration would be going nuts.


It doesn't matter whether the Republicans or the Democrats are in power. Both are beholden to the same lobby. A prime example is US foreign policy for the Middle East. Didn't anyone notice that the Presidential candidates for the last election had to appear before AIPAC to make certain they would do the lobby's bidding? These candidates had to grovel just to be on the ticket.

The parties are equally corrupt and do the lobbys bidding to get re elected. If that hasn't sunk in yet with the electorate I tremble for my country.


When we can no longer outshout the truth we drag in a religious argument and claim our opponents are heretics. Truly the bottom feeders of debate.

Who's shouting? I've always held to to adage: "To win an arguement you can be loud, or you can be right." When I begin shouting I know I've lost. What I and others here have done is counter rants with reason and misinformation with explanations, all to no avail. To call our opponents heretics would be to suggest science is a belief system. It is not. It is the denialists who use the language of religion(like a certain someone who refers to "globalwarmism" as a "new religion" and its supporters as "prophets"). The "bottom feeders of debate?" How can you debate someone like that?



get your head out of your a.. , America is doomed, debt, useless war, dollar is being trashed, addiction to oil, inability to put oneself in question. The failure of the american arrogance, this is what it is. Your are going to discover long term unemployment for 10% of the population, cut in half of your purchasing power, your 401K retirement trashed in inflation, your beloved truck discounted for a few hundred US$, and your fat chick that you thought was the love of your life ready to trash you because you worth more dead than alive.


Does someone need a hug?


Treebugger: I live in the downtown of a major metro area and I walk to and from work...I drive my truck about 2 miles per day to and from the gym (a little more on weekends) - so my carbon footprint is radically less than any of my AGW-believing co-workers that commute in from the burbs 30-60 miles per day. As for your other remarks, much of what you say is probably true as long as Democrats are running the show (except for the remark about the fat chick, which ain't gonna happen with the GOP or DNC running things)

richard schumacher

People are subject to whims and short-sighted interests. There is no debate on this subject in the US, only uninformed shouting pumped up by industrial interests and their shills in the media and government. The tragedy of democracy is that the majority can be wrong.


People, the 'scientific consensus' on global warming has been shown to be a lie. Stamping your feet and declaring that 'there is no debate' or that 'the science is settled' simply won't work any more - the gig is up.

Oh, and accusing people who disagree with you of being shills in the pay of Big Oil? That wasn't working even before the wheels fell off the AGW bus. It's sure not going to save you now.


Things are going from bad to worse for the alarmists. Just today yet another letter from 141 respected PhDs and scientists around the world telling the United Nations to bring forth the evidence of man-made CAGW. Essentially a writ of habeas corpus.


Sorry Matthew but there IS 'scientific consensus' on global warming.
"Scientific consensus is the collective judgement, position, and opinion of the community of scientists in a particular field of study. Consensus implies general agreement, though not necessarily unanimity. Scientific consensus is not by itself a scientific argument, and it is not part of the scientific method. Nevertheless, consensus may be based on both scientific arguments and the scientific method."


Our education system must have badly failed for so many schooled people to be so misinformed.

If the current trend continues, the whole world will be wrong and only US will be right.

Is that possible?


Ai_vin - If there really were consensus, the CRU crew wouldn't have felt the need to subvert the peer review process and dodge FOIA requests.


Matthew - Consensus implies general agreement, though not necessarily unanimity; there are thousands of climate scientists around the world but the CRU has a staff of only ~thirty research scientists and students.

The quotes from the stolen emails were taken out of context. Put back into context the 'subverting of the peer review process' turns out to be a rant on whether a science journal can still be called unbiased or whether another scientist's work is. And the 'dodging of FOIA requests?' Well it turns out the material in question was proprietary and the CRU didn't own it - it was not theirs to release. It's standard for people who receive such information to be under contract to protect it from third parties. The data may have been deleted from Phil's harddrive but it's not lost, it's still in the databases of the separate agencies that do own it. Within this context, the requests for the data was harassment and instead the requests for the original source data should have been put to the different agencies that own it. .

What's more the hacked material comprised about 13 years of exchanges; more than 1,000 e-mails and 2,000 documents. And all we hear about from the skeptics is about half a dozen edited quotes?


More on the FOIA requests: Phil was likely joking as anyone who wants the info can easily get it from the same agencies he did. He knew that, of course, so deleting it is not going to keep it out of reach.

under the FOIA there is no requirement to provide any data that is available elsewhere. Under Section II, Exempt Information, it reads:

“Information accessible to applicant by other means

(1) Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant otherwise than under section 1 is exempt information.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)—

(a) information may be reasonably accessible to the applicant even though it is accessible only on payment, and

(b) information is to be taken to be reasonably accessible to the applicant if it is information which the public authority or any other person is obliged by or under any enactment to communicate (otherwise than by making the information available for inspection) to members of the public on request, whether free of charge or on payment.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1), information which is held by a public authority and does not fall within subsection (2)(b) is not to be regarded as reasonably accessible to the applicant merely because the information is available from the public authority itself on request, unless the information is made available in accordance with the authority’s publication scheme and any payment required is specified in, or determined in accordance with, the scheme. ”

Other sections of the Act also apply and as far as I can determine the CRU were in no way obliged under the terms of the Act to provide the requested data.


ai_vin - Thirteen years of emails provides pretty good context, wouldn't you think?

At any rate, the defense boils down to "No, really, it's not what it seems!" I'm sure Tiger Woods used much the same line on his wife, and we see what it got him.

Of course, everyone's declaring that the 'consensus' is still in place...which is to be expected, because the alternative is to admit they'd been duped by a bunch of second-raters. Meanwhile, popular support for climate change mitigation continues to drain away...which it will continue to do for as long as you guys keep denying the fraud and incompetence that is in plain sight.

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