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END RUN: White House Threatens To Bypass Congress and Make Global Warming The EPA’s Bitch

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WASHINGTON POST: The Obama administration moved closer Monday to issuing regulations on greenhouse gases, a step that would enable it to limit emissions across the economy even if Congress does not pass climate legislation. The move, which coincided with the first day of the international climate summit in Copenhagen, seemed timed to reassure delegates there that the United States is committed to reducing its emissions even if domestic legislation remains bogged down. But it provoked condemnation from key Republicans and from U.S. business groups, which vowed to tie up any regulations in litigation. In Monday’s much-anticipated announcement, the Environmental Protection Agency said that six gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, pose a danger to the environment and the health of Americans and that the agency would start drawing up regulations to reduce those emissions. The EPA’s “endangerment finding” — a key bureaucratic step in the regulatory process — was seen as a message to Congress and Copenhagen, but it was also a belated response to an order from the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in April 2007 that carbon dioxide should be considered a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. As a result, the court said, the EPA had not only the power but the obligation to regulate the gas. (In that case, Massachusetts v. EPA, the Bush administration was fighting against regulating carbon dioxide from vehicle tailpipes.) MORE

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