08 March 2010 22:49 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson said on Monday that climate change mandates and other regulations by her office will drive ?xml:namespace>
“Without a clear picture of greenhouse gas regulations, there will be little incentive to invest in clean energy jobs,” she said, dismissing claims by industry that the EPA’s plans to sharply curtail emissions “will be the death knell of our economy”.
While conceding that emission reductions will carry costs, she said that “The economic costs of unchecked climate change will be orders of magnitude higher for the next generation than it would be for us to take action today”
In a speech to the National Press Club, she said her agency’s endangerment finding was historic and represents “long overdue action on climate change”.
The EPA is the target of several lawsuits and petitions by industry groups and state governments charging that the agency relied on discredited global warming data and findings in issuing its emissions rules.
She said that environmental regulation by the EPA has and will continue to play a vital role “as a critical driver of our economic success, our capacity for innovation and invention”.
In addition, she said the mandated phase-out of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) - banned by the EPA to save the earth’s ozone layer - was another example of regulation driving innovation and economic growth.
“The chemical industry predicted severe economic disruption” if CFCs were banned, she said. “Refrigeration companies forecasted shutdowns of supermarket coolers and chillers used to cool office buildings, hotels and hospitals.”
However, she said, “When innovators took up the manufacturing challenge, they found alternatives that worked better than CFCs ... [and] developed new technology that cut costs while actually improving productivity and quality”.
“And by making their products better and cleaner, the American refrigeration industry actually gained access to markets overseas - giving them new economic opportunities,” she said.
“That is what smart environmental protection does,” she said. “It creates a need - in other words, a market for clean technology - and then drives innovation and invention - in other words, new products for that market.”
“In the last 30 years, emissions of six dangerous air pollutants that cause smog, acid rain, lead poisoning and more decreased 54%,” she said. “At the same time, gross domestic product grew by 126%.”
“This is our convenient truth: smart environmental protection creates jobs,” she added.
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