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PSR Calls on the EPA to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions Immediately

Contribution to Global Warming a Clear Threat to Public Health

May 18, 2009

(Washington, DC) Testifying today before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr. Peter Wilk, Executive Director for Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), called on the agency to move forward quickly with regulations to control the emissions of greenhouse gases that are contributing to global warming and creating a serious public health threat. Wilk encouraged the EPA “to act immediately regardless of what action the Congress takes.”

Last month EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson issued a finding of endangerment, stipulating “that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere endanger the public health and welfare of current and future generations.” Based on this finding, authorized by the Clean Air Act, the EPA may move forward to regulate the six pollutants cited in the Federal Register notice of April 24.

Regardless of legislative action, PSR believes the EPA must move forward with regulations now as the evidence for global warming and the public health consequences demand immediate action. At the hearing Wilk provided numerous examples of the direct health consequences from longer, more intense heat waves; worsening air quality and more ozone alert days; extreme weather events and illnesses attributable to pest and water-borne disease.

“There is urgency to act immediately, and this endangerment finding adds to that urgency. Since the Congress has failed to act, it is appropriate for the administration to move forward with adequate regulations to begin to control climate change and protect the health of American citizens,” added Wilk.

PSR works to protect human life from the gravest threats to health and survival. For more information contact Mae Stevens at 202-667-4260 or mstevens@psr.org.

For a PDF of this release, click here.

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