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In December 2007 the Bush administration found that greenhouse gases, especially those emitted by motor vehicles, were a danger to public health, and therefore should be regulated by the Clean Air Act. This finding was sequestered for years, the story of its suppression was well known. The 29-page report (pdf) by Bush's EPA itself was only seen by a select few, copies were not allowed to be made, and the White House's Office of Management and Budget blocked an effort to make it public. The document has only now been released for the first time to the American public. "The administrator proposes to find that the air pollution of greenhouse gas concentrations (GHG) may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public welfare."
That's the opening line of the report done by Bush's own EPA. The finding listed the same six greenhouse gases (CO2, methane, etc) as Obama's EPA report does, though it focuses on regulating such emissions primarily from vehicles. The report also accurately details the impact that the emissions have on climate, from rising sea levels to melting glaciers. In essence, the report confirms that greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming.
Here's the surprising part--President Bush initially accepted the findings of his EPA's scientists. And according to E&E; Daily, Bush even lead the administration to take "several significant steps toward regulating greenhouse gas emissions." So what happened? Essentially, Cheney and big oil stepped in.
The saga of the endangerment finding that wasn't now seems similar to how a great many decisions were made in the Bush White House: (via the NY Times)
Jason Burnett, at the time a top adviser to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, wrote the original endangerment finding document and sent it to the White House for a final review. But congressional investigators last year determined that Bush ultimately backed down after hearing counterarguments from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, the Office of Management and Budget, the Transportation Department, Exxon Mobil Corp. and others in the oil industryOf course, after Cheney had him convinced, Bush sealed the document and refused to release it to the public. And hence we had two more years of inaction on climate change, and a deeply tarnished environmental legacy from the Bush administration.
More on the Bush Administration's EPA:
Bush EPA's Standards for Pollutants Found to be "Contrary to Law"
EPA : What, Us Regulate Pollution?