Bush rebuked for postponing action on climate change

The US Environmental Protection Agency on Friday effectively passed on the issue of global warming to the next president of America.

With the Bush administration rejecting the bid to regulate the environment under existing law, despite a Supreme Court decision to compel the federal government to enforce the Clean Air Act, EPA administrator Stephen Johnson said the act was ill-suited to the current climate problem and that regulation would involve an ?unprecedented expansion? of the agency's authority.

Mr Johnson said: "In almost every instance, [the EPA's climate change] work has raised further questions of such importance that the scope of the task has continued to expand.

"If our nation is truly serious about regulating greenhouse gases, the Clean Air Act is the wrong tool for the job."

The EPA set in train a 120-day comment period that will delay action to cut greenhouse gas emissions at least until George Bush?s successor takes office.

The advance notice of proposed rule-making effectively delays any decision about how or whether the Clean Air Act should be used to regulate global warming.

The news comes as George Bush returned last week from Japan, where the G8 summit of leading industrialised nations set a non-binding goal to cut emissions in half by 2050.

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