Senator Wants EPA's Timeline on Greenhouse Gas ReviewSenator Wants EPA's Timeline on Greenhouse Gas Review

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Jan. 25 called on the U.S. EPA to promptly complete work on its review of the need to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

Feinstein chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and Related Agencies and will be holding a hearing on the EPA budget in the coming weeks.

In a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, Feinstein urged the agency to complete the review of whether greenhouse gas emissions pose a threat to public health, as required by remand in the Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency. The ruling also required EPA to develop strategies to limit emissions, as necessary.

In the letter, Feinstein notes:

Following is the text of the letter sent by Feinstein to Johnson: "I request a detailed update of the funds and staff time dedicated to this effort to date and a timeline demonstrating that EPA plans to respond to the U.S. Supreme Court remand expeditiously."

The letter acknowledged that the agency had in 2007 dedicated "thousands of hours" to considering the issue and in December found that greenhouse gas emissions do endanger public health and welfare. This finding was sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget. In the meantime, the EPA staff began developing regulations, but this work has reportedly stopped, the letter said.

In a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, Johnson "asserted that no timeline exists for completing this process."

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