EPA Declares Greenhouse Gases a Danger to Public Health

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as expected, on Monday declared greenhouse gases a danger to public health, a decision that could soon lead to new emissions regulations for businesses across the economy.

The "endangerment finding" announced by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is necessary to move ahead on new emissions standards for cars due out in March 2010. Made under the Clean Air Act, it also opens up large emitters such as power plants, oil refineries, chemical plants and metal smelters to regulations that limit their output of carbon dioxide and other gases

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said science overwhelmingly shows greenhouse gas concentrations are at unprecedented levels due to human activity.

The announcement comes as U.S. President Barack Obama prepares to attend the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen.