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Industry Turning to Legal Action to Stop EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases

Flurry of weak petitions not expected to succeed in court to block action

By Leslie Berliant

Jun 14, 2010

A series of rules and findings issued by the EPA are heralding the slow but steady arrival of economy-wide regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. Following the 2007 Supreme Court ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA, the agency has been compelled by scientific findings to protect the public health and welfare from global warming pollution under the Clean Air Act.

Big industries opposed to EPA action, charge that the application of existing law is an unjustified power grab, but last week their position met a signal defeat. A move by like-minded allies in the Senate to block the EPA by Congressional mandate failed. It was a closely watched vote. In the end, Senator Murkowski's resolution that would have curtailed the agency's action on greenhouse gases went down to defeat 47-53.

Now industry must look to a flurry of weak legal challenges to slow or stop a first wave of regulations on industrial sources of pollution that are slated to take effect in January 2011, a little more than six months away. They've filed challenging the EPA’s authority from several angles.

Earlier this month, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), led by former three-term Michigan Republican Governor John Engler, along with 19 other lobbying organizations, filed a petition in federal appeals court challenging the EPA’s of the “Johnson Memo.”

Written by Bush's EPA chief, the memo details when the EPA must regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources. The petitioners include the American Petroleum Institute, National Petrochemical and Refiners Association and the Western States Petroleum Association. A similar petition was filed in April by a coalition that includes the Industrial Minerals Association, Rosebud Mining Corporation and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

In a press release, NAM called the EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions “an overreach” and “power grab” by the agency. NAM is also a petitioner in a suit filed in February challenging the EPA’s endangerment finding on greenhouse gas emissions. Jeff Ostermayer, a NAM spokesperson, says that the organizations position is that “any changes to the Clean Air Act need to happen through Congress, not the EPA.”

Ostermayer would not comment on whether the organization would support Congressional climate legislation instead. I has opposed it up until this point. In 2009, Duke Energy publicly split from NAM over its position on climate issues. At the time, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers blamed the organizations refusal to address climate change for the rift.

A separate petition has been filed by the Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF) along with a number of , challenging the endangerment finding. Calling the science on climate change “unsettled”, they are partnering with industry supported think tanks including the Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation.

In March, SLF filed a stay on the endangerment finding in the hopes of halting the forward progress of the EPA’s implementation of greenhouse gas standards for light-duty vehicles and pending regulation for stationary sources. SLF, founded by former Heritage Foundation chair Ben Blackburn, is a self-described “conservative public interest law firm.”

EPA Regulation of GHGs

Man can not control global warming or cooling.
Greenhouse Gas emissions do not dictate the amount of greenhouse Effect warming. The limited number of energy photons in the GHE dictates the warming effect. The IPCC misapplies the GHE science.

The Greenhouse Effect results from an energy photon of a specific wavelength or energy, being absorbed (& released within nanoseconds) by a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) such as water vapor or CO2 etc. The nanosecond delay causes a longer residence time of the photon in the air, resulting in more warming than if the photon was released directly to space.
In the equilibrium case there is either an excess of photons or an excess of GHGs, which LIMIT the GHE.
In the case of the Earth here is an excess of GHGs, leaving EXCESS (unused) water vapor and CO2 in the air and the ocean. If there were excess photons then the GHE would continue until either they or the excess GHGs were all in use. Without additional photons of energy there can be no increase in the GHE warming. The CRU/GISS etc computer models and IPCC/NAS position that "more GHGs results in more warming" is a fraudulent misapplication of the basic science. It is wrong. If more photons are available (as they are every morning) they will use the excess water vapor & CO2 in the air to warm the air, rather than WAITING for man to add more CO2 & positive water vapor feedback. The IPCC contention that more CO2 results in more positive feedback water vapor and hence more warming is incorrect. It only results in more excess water vapor. The simple proof is that when more GHG Water Vapor is available whenever the humidity triples when it rains, then there is NO increase, let alone a tripling, of the 32C temperature caused by the GHE. This is because ALL the photons causing the GHE are already in use. Man adding GHGs does not cause more warming just more excess GHGs, nor does reducing CO2 emissions cause cooling, just fewer excess GHGs
(For an alternate explanation of climate change see papers at called Gravity causes Climate Changes. and to explain when and where the added energy photons come from to cause cyclical warming and cooling climate changes)

Scientific Consensus

Why is it that one of the biggest challenges we face as a species is constantly being undermined by the undereducated citing science that holds no truths? To all those who continue, in vain, to deny the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, I suggest you study real, apolitical, peer reviewed science before trying to derail those concerned about mitigating and reducing climate disruption. Move on to something else while we try to make ourselves useful.

"It is unlikely that those

"It is unlikely that those appeals will succeed in overturning the decision in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, the deference normally afforded an expert agency on scientific issues, and the weight of scientific evidence supporting EPA’s decision."

Well alot has changed in the science since that decision was made. It can be overturned. It will take time and money but it can be overturned definately.

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