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In view of the dramatic shift in the nation's environmental policy that is presaged by the ascension of Barack Obama, I have been asked to suggest several actions that should be undertaken by the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This article was written on Jan. 26, 2009, six days after the inauguration. It is to appear in March. Thus every reader will know something that, today, I don't – what long-pent-up actions were taken by President Obama shortly after he moved into the Oval Office. But I am guessing that by the time this article appears, Lisa Jackson, the new EPA administrator, will have already acted on the three most salient items within EPA's jurisdiction on the biggest environmental issue of the day, climate change, by:

  • granting California's application for a waiver from the federal motor vehicle emission standards, thereby allowing California's own stricter standards to take effect there and in sixteen other states;
  • making a finding that greenhouse gases (GHGs) pose an endangerment to human health and welfare, as per the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. EPA; and
  • reversing her predecessor's eleventh-hour ruling that the Clean Air Act's best available control technology requirements do not apply to carbon dioxide emissions.


Environmental Law | Law


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