EPA: Carbon Dioxide, Greenhouse Gases Are Public Health Danger [Update -- 4:55 PM]

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Update | 4:55 PM: Shares of solar energy stocks jumped on the news that the EPA considered CO2 and five other green house gases public health dangers. Dow Jones Newswires via the Wall Street Journal reports that shares of JA Solar jumped 11 percent to $4.87. SunPower climbed 9 percent to $24.31, and Suntech increased 8.5 percent to $16.69.

In a landmark decision the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ruled that emissions from carbon dioxide  and other green house gases represent a public health danger.

The ruling, announced today by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, which is  formally known as an “endangerment finding,” effectively puts into motion a cap-and-trade system.

The finding was expected. Since taking office in January the Obama administration had said it would seek to issue an endangerment finding for CO2 and five other green house gases.

The announcement comes as Congress is dragging its feet on climate change legislation. This Summer the house approved the Waxman – Markey bill and its controversial cap-and-trade provision. On the Senate side, however, a vote on the Kerry – Boxer legislation is not expected until next year.

As expected U.S.  Chamber of Commerce  President Thomas Donohue said in a statement released to the Wall Street Journal that the EPA’s endangerment finding “could result in a top-down command-and-control regime that will choke off growth by adding new mandates to virtually every major construction and renovation project.”

Corporate America has lobbied against a regulated approach, of the type announced by the EPA today, preferring instead a legislated cap-and-trade solution than a more heavy-handed EPA regulation regime.

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