Source: The Associated General Contractors of America, Arlington, Va.; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.; CP staff
Presumably timed with the December 7 start of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's unsurprising ruling that greenhouse gases are a public health threat and thereby could be federally regulated resulted in AGC asking the administration to rethink its misguided approach to emissions monitoring.
The finding will delay construction activity, undermine economic recovery and push construction unemployment above its current 19.4 percent rate, AGC said in a statement released upon the EPA's announcement. The association added that while it fully supports measures to improve the environment, the administration's ruling will make it harder to build the greener future our planet needs, such as constructing efficient new buildings, cutting polluting traffic or retrofitting existing inefficient structures. Every construction project in America is now likely to be put on standby until federal bureaucrats decide whether or not to grant Clean Air Act permits, AGC states.
The EPA finding also means that the agency can regulate smokestack and tailpipe emissions regardless of whether the U.S. Congress passes legislative limits. The ruling comes two years after the Supreme Court decision that required EPA to decide if global warming threatens human health and start controlling emissions if it was. Although no specific regulations were mentioned in the announcement, the findings cover six greenhouse gases--carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfer hexafluoride.