The Mix: Clean Air Act's Legacy and Future in GHG ...

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Roger Martella general counsel at EPA under the George W. Bush administration, and David Doniger, director of climate change policy at the EPA under the Clinton administration, join chief correspondent Tyler Suiters about the Clean Air Act and greenhouse gas emissions. Doniger says regulating GHG emissions through the Clean Air Act is the right thing to do. He says Congress gave EPA the job of protecting the environment by watching the unfolding of science and taking action it believes is appropriate. He discounts threats will drive U.S. industries offshore, saying they've been made for the past 40 years. Doniger says that if Congress won't address the issue of climate change with regulation, then it's the EPA's job to do so with regulations. He says efforts to stall those regulations by the incoming majority of U.S. House Republicans depend largely on the position of the American business community. He says the main concern he's heard is about uncertainty. He says delaying EPA action will only cause more uncertainty. Doniger says the only state that isn't willing to go along with the EPA's plans is Texas, which is stick in what he calls an "Alice in Wonderland" theory, where it has everything upside down and backwards. He believes Republican Gov. Rick Perry is grandstanding to Tea Party elements in his state by refusing to implement the EPA policies. On Republican plans to hold hearings on the EPA's regulation plans, Doniger says he hopes the oversight process is principled, and not an exercise in harassment. He says efforts in the 1990s to attack the nation's environmental policies backfired on Republicans, and he believes that could happen again. Martella says that over the past 40 years, the Clean Air Act has probably been the most effective environmental law anywhere in the law. But he believes it was not designed to address global climate change. He says it was aimed at fighting pollution that has an immediate effect on the area where it is released. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases ...