I love Lisa Jackson. Yes, I love the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) administrator. It's not just that she came to PowerShift`09 and rallied the crowd like a rock star, or that she was real with me back stage about what needs to be done. It's also that she has every intention of doing what the law requires her to do to protect the environment and our public health, and that she is ratcheting up the pressure on Congress to pass the clean energy legislation the President has requested this year. That's a considerable change of pace from last year's EPA and the White House that hobbled them.
On April 17, 2009, the EPA declared its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, which means, for starters, that the EPA will detail the threats posed by global warming to both public health and welfare. This move is a green light for the EPA to take action to dramatically reduce pollution from the dinosaur dirty fuels of the past that are a clear and present danger to our public health and welfare.
This decision means EPA will be able to regulate entities that generate large amounts of greenhouse gas pollution, including new cars and power plants. This global warming review -- also called an "endangerment finding" -- stems from an April 2007 Supreme Court decision that ordered the EPA (under the Bush administration) to reconsider whether greenhouse gas emissions are pollutants subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act. Regulations will not be put in place immediately, but the threat of regulatory action intensifies pressure on Congress to pre-empt EPA action by passing legislation to curb pollution. Big oil and dirty coal hate regulation.
1Sky and its allies are doing our part by sending a powerful message of grassroots support for strong energy legislation to lay the groundwork for a robust new economy through constituent meetings with Members of Congress and Senators nationwide. We need you to call your member of Congress now! While we are working on the ground to spread the gospel of clean energy, it is nice to know Lisa Jackson is taking the law into her own hands and heading us in the right direction.
Jackson is clearly throwing down the gauntlet: Congress should act now if they want a say in how pollution is regulated. Polluters should change their ways, or "this Jersey girl" (as she is known to call herself) will do it for them.
EPA is scheduling two national hearings on its proposed "endangerment finding" for global warming pollution in and in Arlington, Virginia on May 18th and in Seattle on May 21. We are working with a number of other organizations to make sure that we have strong testimony from a variety of perspectives on the dangers of global warming and the economic benefits from actions to reduce our dependence on big oil and king coal. We would love to have testimony from progressive and clean tech businesses and our partner, Climate Solutions, tells us that we have already confirmed that several companies will be participating in the Seattle meeting, including Nike and Starbucks. Since EPA is handling the registration for the conference on-line, please ask any interested companies to sign up here. You can find more information or register online here.
Follow Gillian Caldwell on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Gillian1Sky