In April 2007, the Supreme Court mandated that the EPA determine whether greenhouse gases pose a threat to public health and welfare and take action in response. After more than a year of resistance, the EPA released a document of staff findings, which was then quickly attacked by White House political appointees. They also resisted finalizing taking any actions. Today, Greenwire (sub. req’d) published an internal EPA presentation showing that the Obama administration is “fast-tracking” its response to the 2007 ruling, with plans to release its findings in mid-April:
To expand to public health, EPA plans to make connections between climate change and everything from temperatures to air quality and expanded ranges of vector-borne and tick-borne diseases.
The EPA document said dealing with public health and welfare had “solid legal defensibility.”
The Obama EPA’s analysis is significant; the Bush ruling ignored global warming’s effects on public health, focusing only on “welfare and the links between greenhouse gases and visibility, weather, crop damage and soil.” View the slide show here.