Using the Clean Air Act to Regulate Climate -- Lisa Jackson Speaks

To hear William L. Kovacs talk, a mighty regulatory hammer is about to come down from the Obama Administration to smite the American economy. The threat he (as the vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce) and many in the business community see is the Clean Air Act, which normally regulates things like ozone and soot in the air. But in the wake of a landmark 2007 Supreme Court ruling, the Clean Air Act also gives the Environmental Protection Agency the legal authority to regulate carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases that cause global warming. If that happens, watch out, warns Kovacs: “It’s not just the large manufacturers that would bear the burden of regulation this time. It’s the little guys: the hotel you stayed at this weekend, the bakery where you bought your donuts, the office building you work in, even the church you take your family to on Sunday.”

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