US environment agency deems CO2 a health risk

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2009 (AFP) – The US Environmental Protection Agency shifted course Friday by deeming carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases a health risk, in a landmark turnaround that could impact climate change regulation.

“After a thorough scientific review ordered in 2007 by the US Supreme Court, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposed finding … that greenhouse gases contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health or welfare,” said an EPA statement posted on its website.

The move, which could open the door to stronger regulation on greenhouse gas emissions, marks a significant shift on climate change from the previous presidency of George W. Bush, which failed to heed EPA warnings on the possibly devastating consequences of inaction.

“This finding confirms that greenhouse gas pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations. Fortunately, it follows President (Barack) Obama’s call for a low carbon economy and strong leadership in Congress on clean energy and climate legislation,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

“This pollution problem has a solution — one that will create millions of green jobs and end our country’s dependence on foreign oil.

“As the p