EPA, Bush must step up on global warming
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This week's Supreme Court ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases contributing to global warming is indeed cause to celebrate.
The court's 5-to-4 ruling turns the heat up on the federal agency and puts the squeeze on the White House to adequately address greenhouse gas emissions.
And it's about time. The Bush administration thus far has failed to come up with a meaningful policy to regulate greenhouse gases, with its wrongheaded insistence that such regulation was not part of the EPA's mandate under the Clean Air Act.
That inaction underscored a longstanding failure to acknowledge even the existence of global warming and a shameful refusal to take part in the Kyoto Protocol, an agreement signed by more than 140 nations aimed at reducing the effects of carbon dioxide emission.
The Supreme Court, in its majority opinion authored by Justice John Paul Stevens, noted: "A well-documented rise in global temperatures has coincided with a significant increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Respected scientists believe the two trends are related." The opinion goes on to discuss the "significant harms" associated with climate change.
But is the White House listening?
For far too long, the Bush administration has had the nation mired in a sea of excuses and has failed to recognize the impact of global warming. Let's hope this landmark ruling signals a significant change in the tide.