California Attorney General Jerry Brown will join with environmental groups today to petition the Bush administration to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from ocean-going vessels. Shipping accounts for up to 5 percent of global GHG emissions, a number expected to grow 75 percent in the next 20 years. Ocean-going vessels make 11,000 calls at California’s ports each year, but often sail under foreign flags and traditionally fall under international jurisdiction. But the U.S. EPA, with the authority to regulate emissions, should intervene, says Brown: “Who comes into American ports is a matter for Americans to decide.” Attempts by the United Nations to regulate vessel pollution have been hampered by nations that profit by registering ships. California Air Resources Board chairperson Mary Nichols notes, “Shipping is one of those areas where countries either find a way to cooperate, or historically, they go to war.” Cooperation or war — well, the choice is obvious, isn’t it?

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