EPA vs. carbon dioxide

How a ruling calling carbon a dangerous pollutant affects the fight against climate change

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, says the EPA will take common-sense steps to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, now that it has labeled greenhouse gases as dangerous pollutants. Many business groups are livid over the ruling, since it could force companies to make costly emission-reducing changes to their machinery — even if Congress doesn't pass climate-change legislation. Is Obama's EPA sidestepping the democratic process — or simply doing its job? (Watch a report about the EPA's ruling)

Obama is bullying Congress to pass climate-change laws: President Obama and the EPA are giving Congress a "political ultimatum," says The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. Either lawmakers and businesses get behind proposals to cap emissions and trade emission credits, or "the EPA's carbon police will inflict even worse consequences." Apparently, Obama won't "let a trifle like democratic consent impede his climate agenda."

"An Inconvenient democracy"

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The EPA ruling is long overdue: There's a "worldwide consensus that carbon-fueled climate change threatens human health," says the Los Angeles Times in an editorial. And the Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the EPA could regulate greenhouse gasses under the Clean Air Act. So don't ask why the EPA is acting before Congress does. The question is, "why has it taken so long?"

"The EPA's long-overdue climate change ruling"

This is just a dangerous power grab: Calling global warming — and its alleged human causes — a threat to public health essentially gives the EPA "complete control over the nation's energy supply," say Iain Murray and Marlo Lewis in the New York Post. "If you wanted to design an anti-stimulus package, you'd be hard-pressed to top" giving the EPA the power to shutter uncooperative power plants.

"CO2 ruling a sure job-killer"

The EPA doesn't want the job: The EPA's Lisa Jackson "has neither the resources nor the ambition" to take control of 70 percent of the nation's economy, says The New York Times in an editorial. But if Congress doesn't do something about climate change, "she will have no choice."

"The endangerment finding"

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