As of Jan. 2, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began regulating the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
About a year earlier, Dec. 8, 2009, the EPA declared that CO2 was a health hazard and therefore a pollutant under the Clean Air Act of 2009.
By definition, a pollutant is an airborne substance injurious to human health. The authority under which EPA is acting dates back to April 2007 in the case: Massachusetts Supreme Court v. EPA.
The court instructed EPA to determine whether carbon dioxide, along with other greenhouse gases, pose or potentially pose a danger to human health. In December 2009, the agency determined these gases were a danger and then gave itself the green light to issue rules cutting CO2 emissions on a wide range of enterprises, including coal plants, paper mills, and foundries.
It has the authority to regulate hospitals, small business, schools, churches, and perhaps even single family homes.
The EPA is necessarily in a hurry to move ahead before too much opposition develops.