According to InsideEPA (subscription required) EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson appears to be listening to reason on EPA’s possible release of an endangerment finding on CO2. Johnson told a House Appropriations subcommittee Tuesday that the agency is “taking a step back” to analyze how finding CO2 to be a pollutant under the Clean Air Act would trigger a mass of other “inappropriate regulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) under the air act.”

InsideEPA says Johnson words echoed arguments from Heritage Foundation analyst Ben Lieberman who warned: “An endangerment finding is a regulatory Rubicon that the Administration is not required to cross. Given that the Supreme Court declined to set any deadline for the EPA, there is no reason for the Administration to take final action in 2008.”

Specifically, once carbon was regulated from motor vehicles it would also have to be controlled from all stationary sources under the New Source Review (NSR) program. This would force all but the smallest of businesses to comply with the industrial-strength EPA red tape that routinely costs large businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars. Restaurants with kitchens, apartment buildings with heating systems, and even farms would be forced into the costly regulatory framework.