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EPA's Greenhouse Gas Ruling Safe Despite Lawsuit, Legal Experts Say

EPA's relatively mild 'tailoring act' that went into effect Jan. 2, is on much shakier ground than its CO2 endangerment finding

By Elizabeth McGowan, SolveClimate News

Jun 1, 2011

WASHINGTON—Texas and 14 other states clearly want to deep-six the endangerment finding.

But legal experts who keep an eagle eye on Clean Air Act issues agree that attempts to bury it won't succeed. The Environmental Protection Agency's December 2009 finding that heat-trapping gases pose a danger to human health and welfare is likely impenetrable to court challenges because agency scientists did their homework so thoroughly, they say.

"All of us watching this would be absolutely stunned with an appellate court overturning the endangerment finding," environmental law professor Pat Parenteau told SolveClimate News in an interview. "Based on everything I know about this case, it's a 90 percent winner for the government. You can never say 100 percent because weird things can happen in litigation."

Parenteau, who specializes in EPA and Congress at the Vermont Law School in South Royalton, is referring to the opening legal brief Texas filed May 24 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. It's the appellate court designated for handling direct challenges to EPA's authority.  

The states argue in their 41-page document that the endangerment finding should be overturned because it is not only arbitrary and capricious but also a violation of the Clean Air Act. They claim EPA refused to define or measure endangerment and refused to consider adaptation and mitigation as solutions to the effects of climate change.

Other states joining the suit are Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia.

Why Courts Will Back EPA

Columbia University environmental law professor Michael Gerrard echoes Parenteau's prediction about Texas's court challenge being a steep uphill climb where odds favor EPA's irrefutable proof.

"Overturning the endangerment finding would mean finding that EPA did not have a solid basis" for its decision, said Gerrard, director of the university's Center for Climate Change Law, in an interview. "EPA has heaped up enormous volumes of evidence on one side. The evidence on the other side is exceedingly thin.

"EPA is the agency that has the scientists with the expertise," he continued. Before issuing the endangerment finding they "looked at it, relooked at it and re-relooked at it. They seriously examined critiques and still ended up in the same place."

Texas's lawsuit challenge covers a very traditional administrative law question, Parenteau said, adding that it's a prime example where deference to an agency such as EPA is "at its absolute peak" because the courts don't sit as the final arbiters of science.

As long as EPA had a reasonable basis to conclude that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases may reasonably be anticipated to threaten public health or the environment, he explained, the agency is authorized to make an endangerment finding.

"EPA didn't leave any stone unturned," Parenteau said, adding that the agency's massive documentation weighed in at 900 some odd pages of global warming research. "There isn't any science they missed. They acknowledged everything."

Lone Star State Politics at Play

Both Parenteau and Gerrard are on the same page with environmental watchdogs who interpret the challenge to EPA's endangerment finding as having more of a political bent than a legal one.

"Fundamentally, this is [Texas Gov. Rick] Perry and his pals pandering to the polluters," Tom "Smitty" Smith, director of Public Citizen's Texas office, told Solve Climate News in an interview from Austin. "They're picking their pockets for campaign contributions. Unfortunately, the rest of the world loses in this dash for cash."

Smith is referring to speculation that Perry is considering a presidential campaign on the Republican ticket and that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is heading up the lawsuit, is considering a run for Lone Star State governor.

EPA, regs, and free enterprise

Frankly, after seeing these socialists in DC ruin our economy and living in the Soviet Republic of Ca., one wonders just whose side liberals are on. Business provides private sector jobs but over-liberal regs is killing all type of businesses. It alarming that many Ca. ones leave and go to TX, NV, NM and AZ because they can actually do business there and people not SPECIES, benefit from the products and service. I simply do not care about the snail darter,Delta Smelt or the Kangaroo rat. Only the nutsy left does and they are hooked on welfare and green entitlements to such a fanatical way that the needs of real people simply are avoided and ignored all in the name of ideology which nowadays is just a bunch of hooey. Not only is GW, green energy accomplishments now in doubt, but costs and inefficiency are coming out in more and more studies. Our Military will never run on green. Never. The EPA is a dangerous socialist tool for fanatics and it must be cut back or defunded by Republicans if they can win both Houses of 
Congress and rid the nation of this inept Liar in Chief.
Enough is enough. 

More Proof Global Warmers are insane

Let's think about this logically for a minute:

The EPA declares Carbon Dioxide to be an environmental pollutant due to its POSSIBLE threat to the environment due to its BELIEVED contribution to the generally ASSUMED global warming trend, PROBABLY resuting from non-biological human activity.

Could any competent person make any logical conclusions based on this much conjecture, especially since the ramifications are so far reaching and immediatley evident ?

Without even getting into the weeds of the IPCC's currently dubious findings, we are asked to agree that biologically critical compound can be classified as a pollutant in a very narrow and poorly defined use case, while completely ignoring the vast majority of its genisis (ie exhaling for animals, natural non-biological sources) and consumption (plant photosynthesis).

It is a scientific fact (not consensus) that CO2 levels have constantly fluctuated over the history of our planet, so it is obviously self-regulating, otherwise we would be living on Venus.

It is of course argued that the current CO2 levels are dangerously too high, and that is what is driving the global warming trend, and this is due to non-biological human activity. But how could we possibly know any of this with even a modest amount of certanty ?

We can't reliably tell the difference between man-made and biological CO2 because Carbon-14 dating due to natural contamination and atmospheric nuclear tests, so we don't realistically know what a dangerous level is.

There is a scientific consensus that anything over 350 ppm is dangerous, but those scientists convienently overlook any of the earth's CO2 levels more than 600,000 years ago. If we look at real (not hypothetical temperatures based on synthetic computer models) measurements from periods more than 600,000 years ago, you will find global CO2 levels around 4,000 ppm (thats levels more than 10 times what we have now), AND much lower global temperatures than we have today.

Now everything I have mentioned above is iron-clad scientific knowledge, not conjecture, or "consensus". Many global warmists will claim that I have misunderstood how to apply the facts I have given, chalking it up to "not being and expert" in the field, but none the less they cannot refute them.

So how could any rational person make any definitive policy decisions with such damaging , immediate, and far lasting economic effects based on such currently weak scientific evidence, or make any claims to the contrary ?

 

 

This blog makes me realize

This blog makes me realize the energy of words and pictures. As always your things are just gorgeous and I am grateful that you let us look in! Keep coming up with ideas

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