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EPA can do about global climate change?

How much is Obama's EPA a substitute for a climate change legislation? Lastly, I am reading Obama's actions regarding meeting Denmark's goals. I am encouraged by it. Though I wonder what it is we can still do. People rightly wonder if all is really not yet lost. Even it is not, even if hopefully our planet can still "survive" it will be years of hardship with a new normal for some time.

What is the long-term outlook for actions on climate change? What should we be looking at in 2016?

Originally posted to sreeizzle2012 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 03:23 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Several answers (7+ / 0-)

    First, the clean air act authorizes the EPA to requie "best available control technology" on pollutants found to endanger human health and the environment.  Interestingly, the CAA does mention climate.  Since the EPA made its endangerment finding for CO2 based on climate change, the EPA can now require new sources to use the best technology to reduce CO2 emissions.  In practice this means that new power generation has to be efficient natural gas turbine generation.  It makes coal have higher hurdles, if not insumountable ones, if I understand correctly.

    Second, the EPA also can regulate mercury emssions, which it has.  A big source of these are coal plants, which would have to install control technology, which is expensive.  however, this is dependent on major modifications, so I think grandfathered plants can continue, at least until they really wear out.

    Third, the EPA is involved in mobile source emssions and can and has granted California its waiver to require higher mileage as part of the State's efforts to reduce CO2 emissions faster through cap and trade and other measures (this is a state law, AB 32).

    Fourth, the EPA I believe is also involved in the nationwide CAFE fuel economy standards, which the EPA also has done.

    In practice, these are some of the steps that we'd need to take  However, it isn't an economywide program.

    I'm sure there's more though.  (I'm not really an air quality guy)

    Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

    by Mindful Nature on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 09:30:26 PM PST

    •  I'd bet that they could crack down (0+ / 0-)

      on oil drilling and coal mining operations.  Not necessarily shut them down, but be extra strict in enforcement, which they should be doing already.  Making coal and oil more expensive means people will use less of it.

      The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 03:35:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Seems like we need (0+ / 0-)

    ...a major change in the economics of carbon fuels, such as cap-and-trade, BTU tax or the like.

    The long-term outlook is that even now we are in for quite a bit of unavoidable warming, such that, say, the northwest passage and Arctic Ocean will be mostly open for much of the year, more Greenland ice sheet melting, more Antarctic melting with attendant sea level rise.

  •  More,harsher regulations (0+ / 0-)

    As I understand the law, they have the power to write additional regulations as they see fit. So, they simply make regulations in some areas (drilling, refining, construction, agriculture etc) so harsh and arcane that it's impossible to follow them without a legion of lawyers. This increases costs to the few who actually stay in those industries.

    Voila, costs go up, consumption goes down, CO2 emissions go WAY down, and the world is a better place.

  •  They'll do nothing. (0+ / 0-)

    Send conservatives to for re-education.

    by filthyLiberalDOTcom on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 06:14:09 PM PST

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