Some Republicans immediately responded to the news with statements opposing the decision.
"It's unsurprising and disappointing that the EPA has decided to push though the Endangerment finding based purely on political calculations and not based on science," said House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA). "Earlier this year, EPA set up internal barriers to stifle dissent and is now ignoring serious accusations to the science upon which the endangerment finding is based."
Indiana's Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, suggested the EPA was going to "kill jobs."
"This is nothing more than an attempt by the administration to build international support for a binding political agreement in Copenhagen," he said. "It seems liberal Democrats will stop at nothing to overcome the strong objections of the American people to a cap and tax system."
He told reporters that the decision marked a "naked example of political bullying by this Administration," CBS News Capitol Hill Producer Jill Jackson reports.
EPA administrator Lisa Jackson held a news conference this afternoon where she discussed and defended the decision.
"The overwhelming amount of scientific studies show that the threat is real, as does the evidence before our very eyes, polar ice caps crumbling into the oceans, changing migratory patterns of animals and broader ranges for deadly diseases, historic droughts, more powerful storms and disappearing coastlines," she said.
Jackson added that "this administration will not ignore science or the law any longer."