Total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions were 7,282 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent in 2007, an increase of 1.4 percent from the 2006 level.The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency on Friday declared that greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide endanger human health and welfare, clearing the way for possible U.S. regulation.
The EPA said it found that “greenhouse gases in the atmosphere endanger the public health and welfare of current and future generations” and human activities spur global warming.
“These high atmospheric levels are the unambiguous result of human emissions, and are very likely the cause of the observed increase in average temperatures and other climatic changes,” the agency said in its finding, released online at epa.gov.
Regulation is not automatically triggered by the finding, the agency said. There will be a 60-day comment period.
The environmental agency said motor vehicles contribute to rising greenhouse emissions and the “threat of climate change.”
It said five other greenhouse gases also endanger health and contribute to global warming in addition to carbon dioxide — which is emitted by natural and human-made sources, including coal-fired power plants, oil refineries and fossil-fueled vehicles.
The other five gases are methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride.