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Why was CO2 taken off the pollutant list by the US government?

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In 1998 CO2 was added to the list of pollutants by the US government in hopes of allowing tighter regulations of emissions by corporations, largely. In 2003 that decision was reversed by the next administration with the idea being that it can’t be a pollutant if it’s a natural part of the atmosphere and is emitted by so many non-harmful beings. Plus, since CO2 is needed by plants to facilitate photosynthesis it was argued that it simply couldn’t be a pollutant.

The previous administration was probably on the right track if you’re looking at it strictly from an environment point of view. The idea was to make it a pollutant so that car manufacturers, power plants, etc, would have to cap the amount they were spewing into the environment. The 2003 decision was largely based on the fact that those changes would have been very expensive and the companies didn’t want to do them.