The US government is to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, having decided that it and five other greenhouse gases may endanger human health and well-being. The Environmental Protection Agency EPA announced the move following a review of the scientific evidence.
Not unexpected, was the long culmination of a series of events resulting from a 2007 Supreme Court verdict.
Obama is playing the cards right here, using the EPA to ratchet pressure on congress to come up with a carbon pricing scheme, using the EPA as a cautionary tale. If there is anything anti-environmentalists hate more than carbon regulation, it is carbon regulation written by the EPA! Expect a whole lot of lobbying for a cap and trade bill to pass through congress. Aldo expect a lot of back room dealing about offsets, auctions, allowances, words you will be hearing and reading about a lot more.
Meanwhile, in our great white North, the official silence is deafening. A recent report released by the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy speaks very seriously about the urgent need to get a federal Cap and Trade system in place before the US does it for us. Expect nothing to happen unless there is regime change. Even then, as the NY Times points out, provincial resistance to cede control will doom any deal. Ask an Albertan about the National Energy Program!
In our provincial BC election, carbon pricing is front and centre and has captured quite a bit of attention even south of the border. A post on that will follow sometime this weekend, unless I get distracted, which happens more often than not!