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EPA To Formally Declare CO2 Emissions a Danger

The Environmental Protection Agency has scheduled a press conference that is starting any minute and is expected to layout its plan to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

I'll be tuning into the press conference via conference call and will provide an update later.

A bit of quick history. Last month the EPA sent its final finding on whether carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions are a danger to human health and welfare. The EPA sent its final endangerment finding to the White House Office of Management and Budget, where it was to be reviewed within 90 days.

The EPA did not release its final finding -- until now. But most expect it to be similar to its initial findings last April. The Obama administration is expected to fomrally declare CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions a danger, sources told the Washington Post today.

If approved by the Office of Management and Budget, the EPA would likely issue rules to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the authority of the Clean Air Act. This means the EPA -- not Congress -- would be writing the rules for emitter of greenhouse gases. Hence, the uproar from the country's largest emitters, which includes the oil and gas industry.

Many would prefer Congress to pass climate-change legislation rather than face regulation from a government agency. And that includes major utilities like Duke Energy and Exelon Corp., who are concerned EPA regulation would be more costly and less effective than legislation that caps greenhouse gas emissions.

All of this is underway, while much of the world has turned its attention to the international climate summit in Copenhagen. the climate talks officially kicked off Monday, but the fireowrks -- at least for today -- appear to be set to launch in Washington D.C.

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