The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Friday filed a lawsuit that challenges EPA’s rejection of its petition for reconsideration of the agency’s 2009 endangerment finding that greenhouse gases threaten humans, E2 wire reports.
The finding forms the foundation for upcoming EPA rules limiting emissions from power plants, factories and other sources that are opposed by several business groups.
“The U.S. Chamber, policymakers, numerous trade groups, state governments, and businesses throughout the country have collectively raised strong concerns about the significant negative impact the EPA’s endangerment finding will have on jobs and local economies,” said Robin Conrad, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber’s National Chamber Litigation Center, in a prepared statement.
“The Chamber’s lawsuit challenges the wisdom of regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, which simply was never intended to regulate something as complex as global climate change. (…) The EPA itself has admitted that regulating climate change under the Clean Air Act would create an ‘absurd’ result,” Conrad added.
The chamber filed for judicial review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
EPA in late July rejected petitions from the Chamber, states of Virginia and Texas, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, coal giant Peabody Energy Corp. and others seeking to overturn the finding.
The agency rejected claims that the “climate-gate” controversy and minor errors in a landmark UN report on climate change had undermined scientific conclusions that the earth is warming due to the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities.
“These petitions — based as they are on selectively edited, out-of-context data and a manufactured controversy — provide no evidence to undermine our determination. Excess greenhouse gases are a threat to our health and welfare,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said at the time.
Recently, several chambers of commerce throughout the U.S. have broken with the national chapter to support market-based mechanisms to price carbon, much to the dismay of the national chamber, according to oilprice.com.
The Chambers for Innovation & Clean Energy (CICE), led by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, has adopted five core principles, including that businesses must be part of the solution to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) and that market-based solutions produce the best results.
Rob Black, vice-president of public policy at the San Francisco Chamber told oilprice.com that the group’s main objective is to work with federal legislators to shape a carbon reduction program that sends clear signals to the market about where to invest R&D dollars.
But their efforts have drawn criticism from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which sent a letter in late July to local chambers that accused CICE of being established by an environmental group, the Natural Resources Defense Council, not an organic movement led by the San Francisco Chamber.