Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Environment Scores over the Bush Administration

Score one for the good guys- those who wish to fulfill their religious obligation to be good stewards of God's planet (remember those on the right who claim that the US is a Christian nation, established on Christian principles- well, step up and prove it!) and those who wish to have a clear moral conscience about the Earth we leave to future generations.

Warming ruling squeezes Bush from both sides

The Supreme Court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday to explain why it has refused to regulate greenhouse gas pollution from cars, putting the Bush administration under pressure from an unusual coalition of environmental groups and leaders of the auto industry to move quickly on global warming.

In a 5-to-4 decision, the court rejected the administration’s argument that it had no legal authority to limit carbon dioxide released from new cars. In a ruling described as a landmark victory for environmental activists, it decided that the EPA does have such authority and that it must give better reasons for not using it than the “laundry list” of “impermissible considerations” it has offered until now.

Stevens sided in unusually strong language with scientists who say that U.S. car emissions do contribute to greenhouse gases, leading to global warming. In doing so, he rebutted the contention of some energy industry officials and Republicans in the administration and Congress that there is no proof of global warming.

The contribution of American cars to global warming is so significant, Stevens wrote, that strong regulations “would slow the pace of global emissions, no matter what happens elsewhere in the world.”

Earthjustice was a part of the coalition that led the fight against the inaction of the Bush Administration. They issued a statement that said, in part:

"Today is a great day for the environment. In one of the most important environmental cases of its history, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed what we have been saying all along: The Clean Air Act gives EPA authority to fight global warming. The EPA must act immediately and issue regulations that limit greenhouse gases from motor vehicles that contribute to global warming.

"While this case has worked its way through EPA and the courts, scientific evidence of global warming has continued to mount -- so much so that the scientific debate is over. Our climate is warming, and pollution from human activities is a major cause. Harms include rising seas that submerge coastal lands, stronger hurricanes, more drought, melting ice caps and degraded ecosystems.

"To combat this most urgent environmental crisis, strong and comprehensive U.S. action is crucial. EPA must use its existing Clean Air Act authority to require control of greenhouse gas emissions -- by motor vehicles... '

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