Bloomberg News reports that “Barack Obama will classify carbon dioxide as a dangerous pollutant that can be regulated should he win the presidential election on Nov. 4, opening the way for new rules on greenhouse gas emissions…If elected, Obama would be the first president to group emissions blamed for global warming into a category of pollutants that includes lead and carbon monoxide.”

The Democratic nominee for president echoes five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court in wanting to lump carbon dioxide (CO2) with toxics – gases and particulates that actually dirty the air we breathe. I hate to break it to them, but CO2 is not a gas that pollutes. It’s what humans exhale; what plants take in; what we need to sustain plant, animal, and ultimately human life.

As Bloomberg writes, “Placing heat-trapping pollutants in the same category as ozone may lead to caps on power-plant emissions and force utilities to use the most expensive systems to curb pollution. The move may halt construction plans on as many as half of the 130 proposed new U.S. coal plants.”

The potential for economic calamity is real. If CO2 is regulated as a pollutant, get ready for higher energy and electricity prices, for our GDP to falter, and for America to lose millions of jobs. I would tell you to take a deep breath, but then you’d ultimately have to let it out, and, well, I just don’t want the air to get any dirtier.

– Drew Thornley