Greenhouse gases must be phased out legally, US scientists argue greenhouse gas emissions – Low Calorie Diets Tips

Greenhouse gas emissions should be subject to regulatory controls in the US and phased out under the Toxic Substances Control Act, a group of scientists and former officials say in a novel approach to tackling the climate crisis.

“Using the TSCA would be a small step for [the US president] Joe Biden, but potentially a giant leap for humanity as the first step in making polluters pay,” said James Hansen, a former NASA scientist who is a member of the group alongside Donn Viviani, a 35-year retired veteran is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Their legal filing, filed Thursday with the EPA, says greenhouse gas emissions pose a hazard to the climate and as such should be regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), a law passed in 1976 as part of a series of environmental protection measures has been passed regulations in the US.

The TSCA, amended in 2016, allows the EPA to impose monitoring requirements on companies and enforce strict controls on certain substances. It has been used to restrict chemicals such as asbestos, lead in paint and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

The law covers substances that represent “an unreasonable risk of damage to health or the environment”. The petitioners believe that this can be interpreted in a way that allows for a phase-out of greenhouse gas emissions.

Viviani said: “TSCA is like the ruby ​​slippers [in The Wizard of Oz] – it can do almost anything. It can enable you to impose a tax on carbon and deal with the legacy of carbon emissions. It has an almost international reach as the US is the largest market in the world and could apply these measures to imports as well.”

He and the other petitioners have submitted “a mountain” worth of scientific studies showing the effects of greenhouse gases on the weather, leading to wildfires, heat waves, severe drought, rising sea levels and increasingly acidified oceans.

The US has recently made attempts to regulate carbon dioxide under existing environmental legislation, as Congress has often been reluctant to consider legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

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Former President Barack Obama, who failed to get his climate legislation through the Republican-dominated Congress, tried to use the Clean Air Act – another environmental achievement of the 1970s – to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, but under Donald Trump, the attempt was reversed.

The US Supreme Court, which has strong Republican leanings, is re-examining whether the EPA should have such powers to regulate carbon.

Viviani has also tried a similar path before, filing a legal application in 2015 to control carbon dioxide under the TSCA to combat ocean acidification. That failed, but he believes the 2016 change in the law provides a new basis for making the argument again.

Hansen said the new attempt is more likely to be successful, adding, “The TSCA is different. It’s better than the Clean Air Act (CAA). The CAA was a potential vehicle for an increasing carbon fee because the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled against EPA that carbon is a pollutant. However, there is a very strong suspicion that if the CAA is used in this way, the current Conservative Supreme Court will overturn that ruling. With the TSCA passed and reaffirmed by Congress, they can’t do that easily [in 2016] with bipartisan support.”

In addition to Viviani and Hansen, other petitioners include: Lise Van Susteren, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington University; John Birks, Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of Colorado Boulder; Richard Heede of the Climate Accountability Institute; and the climate protection and renovation initiative.

Some climate activists have criticized Biden for a perceived lack of action on the climate crisis, despite making it a priority in the early days of his presidency. The war in Ukraine and rising energy prices have prompted the White House to highlight new gas production as an alternative to Russian supplies.

Viviani said, “President Biden is an empathetic man; we hope he is also a brave man. We hope that he will use both his empathy and courage to take this tool he has at TSCA and use it to give the tens of millions of young people, and indeed all of us, hope that a solution will be found .”

Under the TSCA, the EPA has 90 days to review and respond to the legal request. The Guardian has reached out to the EPA for comment.

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