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U.S. Chamber Asks EPA to Reconsider Endangerment Finding

emissions-2The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has filed a petition asking the EPA to reconsider the legal underpinning of its Endangerment Finding, which would open the door to emissions regulations. At the same time, the EPA continues studying its own plan for a cap-and-trade plan.

The Chamber of Commerce on March 15 filed a petition because of new information that it says came to light after the close of the public comment period on the Endangerment Finding, reports FinChannel.

“The Chamber’s petition focuses exclusively on admissions made by the EPA and also by the Department of Transportation, and not on scientific issues related to climate change or endangerment,” said Steven Law, chief legal officer and general counsel of the chamber.

Law says the EPA itself has admitted that 6 million small facilities – including hospitals, small farms, restaurants, hotels and office buildings – would be subject to a permitting process.

That contradicts a recent statement from Lisa Jackson, EPA chief, however.

When greenhouse gas regulations start in 2011, EPA will focus on sources of 75,000 tons of emissions a year or more, which would include large factories and power plants, but exclude hospitals and many smaller manufacturing operations, EPA chief Lisa Jackson said March 3 before a Senate panel.

Anna Marie Wood, a senior policy analyst at EPA, recently said that the Obama administration would consider a carbon-trading system under existing Clean Air Act rules if Congress fails to pass cap-and-trade, according to Business Week.

Some expect the Senate to hammer out a compromise climate bill this week that includes some form of cap-and-trade.

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3 thoughts on “U.S. Chamber Asks EPA to Reconsider Endangerment Finding

  1. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that carbon dioxide linked to climate change, and five other greenhouse gases, are a danger to public health and welfare. Last spring, Obama’s EPA determined that the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) “endangers human health and the environment” as an “air pollutant.” Upon making this finding under the Clean Air Act, EPA must propose regulations to enforce the monitoring and reduction of CO2. These findings have opened the door for charging emitters of CO2 for their emissions. These are the bases for “cap-and-trade” legislation that will levy a carbon tax on all U.S. goods and services.

    EPA’s proposed CO2 regulations have prompted numerous business and government interests to challenge EPA findings in court, and stop the costly new carbon controls. These trials will ultimately require EPA to prove the scientific cause and effect involving manmade greenhouse gases and global warming – the theories of global warming will be put on trial. All of the fanciful warmist warnings and institutional climate change claims will be tested in open court. About twenty court challenges were filed against EPA’s “endangerment” finding before the rulemaking deadline of February 16th.

    Specifically, the lawsuits ask the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review EPA’s determination that greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare. Some of the petitioners include: the Ohio Coal Assn., the Portland Cement Assn., the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the National Assn. of Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute, the Corn Refiners Assn., the National Assn. of Home Builders, the National Oilseed Processors Assn., the National Petroleum and Refiners Assn., the Western States Petroleum Assn., the States of Alabama and Virginia, the American Iron and Steel Institute, Gerdau Ameristeel Corp., the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Mining Assn., Peabody Energy Co., the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, several U.S. House of Representatives and Senate members, the Southeastern Legal Foundation, the Coalition for Responsible Regulation, and others. Conversely, a coalition of 16 states and the City of New York have intervened in support of the EPA-proposed greenhouse gas regulations. Militant eco-groups will also support EPA’s new greenhouse gas regulations.

    Neither politics nor legal systems have been accountable consistently to the truths of environmental science. Government regulations of any kind have the effect of incrementally limiting personal liberty and freedom, and of imposing severe additional costs on those who can least afford them. Therefore, the establishment of scientific cause and effect is a critical prerequisite to prudent environmental regulations. Let the trials begin!

  2. Scientific cause and effect have long ago been proven to the satisfaction of the vast majority of scientists who are a) reputable, b) independent (i.e. don’t get their funding from oil, coal, or other entities with clear vested interests in the ‘scientific’ conclusions they arrive at), and c) knowledgeable in the field.

    Forcing trials to “prove” scientific validity in a court of law is nothing more than a transparent excuse to further delay any governmental response to global warming. In addition, no scientific theory can ever be legally “proven” in a court of law. Courts of law are NOT competent authorities to decide matters of science.

    Just look at the list of petitioners. A large fraction is made up of entities with clear vested interests in maintaining the status quo. This is not a group of objective third parties. Their obvious goal is simply to subvert the science, to confuse the issue, to mislead the public (and public officials, including the 100 members of the U.S. Senate, various state governors, etc.), and, in short, to keep the status quo – since that is how they would maintain the huge income streams they currently enjoy. Furthermore, these entities are not among “those who can least afford them”. These are rich corporations with enormous financial resources. And they are using those resources to unjustly further their own narrow special interests – to the great detriment of society as a whole.

    The science is settled. Global climate change is real; it is imminent; and it threatens people, societies, and institutions the world over. Let’s stop the legal and political maneuverings that have no basis in scientific fact, and that are not in the best interests of society.

    Let the carbon controls begin!

  3. EPA regulation is not the best case certainly. But we need climate change legislation now. And a fundamentally-flawed cap and trade system isn’t good enough. Congress needs stop putting political expediency ahead of good public policy and take a look at the alternative that leading scientists and economists agree is the best case: a revenue-neutral carbon tax.

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