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The US government has declared that greenhouse gases threaten human health. The move could allow the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to order cuts in emissions without the approval of Congress. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson said the agency was now "authorised and obligated to make reasonable efforts" to cut greenhouse gases. The news came as global climate talks got under way in Copenhagen aimed at forging a deal on major emissions cuts. [Source: BBC]
Jackson said she saw no reason to delay today's announcement, despite questions raised about the actions of some climate scientists in the wake of the unauthorized release of thousands of emails from a British climate research center.
"There is nothing in the hacked emails that undermines the science upon which this decision is based," she said, adding that the scientists and data released from the University of East Anglia's climate research center was just one of many sources of scientific evidence, all concluding in finding a human climate impact. [Source: The Baltimore Sun]
Almost all energy and energy intense industries hope that Congress will step in with new climate laws, namely through a cap-and-trade system that limits greenhouse gas emissions, but allows companies to buy or sell emissions credits.
If not, companies say, jobs will be lost, an economic recovery will be hamstrung and everyone will pay more for energy. [Source: LA Times]