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EPA’s Authority to Regulate Greenhouse Gases Comes Under Fire From All Angles

Despite Multipronged Attacks, Endangerment Finding Appears Safe for Now

By Dave Levitan

Mar 3, 2010

Still, there is the chance that Murkowski’s move could have far-reaching political effects.

The use of the Congressional Review Act sidesteps much of the usual legislative process, meaning that a general vote on the resolution will occur within 60 days of its introduction.

“Senator Murkowski will be able to get every member of Congress on record as to whether they approve or disapprove the EPA’s endangerment finding, and that is not unimportant politically,” Coglianese explained.

“Republicans, to the extent they want to make it a campaign issue in November, can now claim that Democrats support economically dangerous — in the Republicans’ view — moves by federal bureaucrats.”

At the hearing today, Jackson decried the move for other symbolic reasons.

“The Congressional Review Act resolution essentially asks senators to invalidate EPA’s finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health,” Jackson said. “I think that simple statement is contrary to multiple lines of scientific inquiry. For this country, for the U.S. Senate, to take the position in 2010 would indeed be an enormous step backward for science and decades of scientific inquiry.”

Delaying Tactics

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat from the heart of West Virginia coal mining country, is trying a different tactic to block the EPA, one that could have greater appeal.

He has legislation this week that stops short of stripping the EPA’s authority to regulate and instead would prevent any EPA regulations from taking effect for two years. The few Democrats in Congress who do support blocking the EPA’s authority, like Rockefeller, come from energy- or agriculture-rich states.

Based on Jackson’s testimony at today’s budget hearing and statements made in recent weeks, Coglianese points out that Rockefeller’s idea of delaying action “may already have worked.”

Jackson said in a letter last week and again at the hearing today that EPA would only begin to regulate large stationary sources of emissions — meaning, any source that emits more than 100,000 tons of CO2 per year, which could include power plants, refineries and other large facilities — in 2011. She said the agency would phase in smaller sources, down to possibly 25,000 tons per year, over the following five years.

Coglianese suggested that President Obama and Jackson were hoping to push Congress to pass climate legislation with the threat of EPA regulation. “And if Congress doesn’t adopt climate change legislation, we will have this relatively onerous regulatory apparatus that was not intended at all to deal with climate change taking effect,” he said.

“Putting a delay on that pushes back the pressure on Congress to do anything right now,” he explained.

In the House, Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.), has introduced another that would strip EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases entirely. In before the House Budget committee, Pomeroy argued that “The current Clean Air Act was not developed for greenhouse gas emissions, and it does not work to try and shoehorn greenhouse gas emissions into this statute.”

Both Rockefeller’s and Pomeroy’s bills, though, face the same problem of a presidential veto, with little hope of achieving the two-thirds majority required to override it.

States and Industry Pile On

Outside of Capitol Hill, industry groups have mounted their own to fight the EPA endangerment finding. In February, 16 groups including the Ohio Coal Association, the American Petroleum Institute, the Corn Refiners Association asked the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review the finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health. The EPA, though, expressed confidence that the court challenge will be withstood.

ndustrial accidents like any mishap is generally a result of lapse in judgement and or poorly managed safety practices. For too long now, we in business have looked upon safety and security as a unnecessary burden on the specific process or service. Yet, if we were to embrace safety with the comittment similar to making money we would reduce the every increasing incidents that cost more than money and time.



There are many explosion

There are many explosion incidents we seen on news and in addition to this was the explosion occurred today, just hours after a blast at the Redstone Arsenal in Alabama. This time around it was at the refinery in San Antonio. The had been began when a close by 18 wheeler truck blew up. The18 wheeler was filling up with gas when its blast began a chain response of explosions that lasted for more than 45 minutes. The fire is nevertheless burning up and just about all local firefighters are in the scene in an attempt to put out the fire. This particular refinery was sited 13 times in 2007 by OSHA for safety violations, it almost makes you wonder what caused the truck to blow up within the first place.

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