The finding by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that greenhouse gas emissions are a threat to human health is welcome news. The finding identifies six gases – carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride – as contributing to global warming. After eight years, this find by the Obama Administration demonstrates that good science and common sense have returned to the Agency

The EPA’s second finding that greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles contribute to this danger to the public health is another victory for science and common sense. I believe that in defining the problem and its cause, it will be possible for us to work together to find a solution.

Last Friday, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson also stated very clearly that global warming – caused by greenhouse gas emissions -- is a major threat to our nation and the world and we need bold, decisive and immediate action. As a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Homeland Security and Terrorism, there is no question that global warming is a serious threat to our nation.

My own state of Maryland is living with the effects of global warming. According to a 2005 report of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Maryland is particularly vulnerable to global warming because such a large part of the state consists of low-lying coastal areas. The report also says that Maryland is the third most vulnerable state to flooding and has the fifth longest evacuation times during tropical storm activity. In fact, tidal gauge records for the last century show that the rate of sea level rise in Maryland is nearly twice the global average.

I applaud the actions taken by the Obama Administration, and EPA’s announcement represents a substantial first step.