The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is poised to issue its long-awaited “Endangerment Finding” in its previously announced effort to regulate carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act.
EPA’s action likely will be followed by extensive litigation trying to prove the agency failed to follow the Supreme Court mandate to show convincingly that CO2 presents a danger to “health and public welfare.” Other opponents will argue CO2 produces only a negligible effect on climate, which is dominated by natural factors such as solar activity.
Meanwhile, in Congress, it’s doubtful whether a plan will pass the House to cap carbon emissions and create trade in permits that would allow emitters to continue to produce CO2—the cap-and-trade plan.
Cap-and-trade is highly unlikely to survive in the Senate, which has approved an amendment by Sen. John Thune (R-SD) “to amend the deficit-neutral reserve fund for climate-change legislation to require that such legislation does not increase electricity or gasoline prices.”
Cap-and-trade was dealt another blow on April 1, 2009 when 15 Democratic Senators joined all of the Republicans in defeating a climate-change bill that would have allowed fast-tracking of President Barack Obama’s cap-and-trade proposal so it could be passed as part of the current Federal budget.
That leaves EPA’s endangerment finding as the most prominent piece of environmental regulation to emerge from Washington for the foreseeable future.
As you cover the EPA announcement, you may want to take advantage of insights from the following three experts on the issue, who oppose the underlying scientific and legal assumptions in the EPA action. You may quote from this advisory or contact the experts directly.
“The proposed EPA initiative is based on shoddy science and would impose a huge economic burden on American households. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant and should not be regulated, least of all by EPA under the terms of the Clean Air Act. Congress must stop this unwarranted action by means of legislation, but without committing the same errors as EPA.”
S. Fred Singer, Ph.D.
President, Science & Environmental Policy Project
“This is a sad day for science and a sad day for the democratic process.
“A recent survey of more than 500 climate scientists showed less than half believe the science justifies turning the global warming issue over to policymakers. Additionally, global temperatures have been falling for most of the past decade.
“America’s elected officials, Democrat and Republican alike, have repeatedly considered and rejected restrictions on carbon dioxide. Yet EPA is taking it upon itself to circumvent the democratic process.
“It is time for Americans to demand that their representatives in Congress take firm action to restore sanity and democratic principles to the global warming debate.”
James M. Taylor, J.D.
Senior Fellow, Environment Policy
The Heartland Institute
“EPA’s endangerment finding for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, when finalized, will be unprecedented. EPA long ago conceded it has no science supporting any assertion of direct harm to humans from these gases.
“The endangerment finding will immediately result in limits on auto tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases and ultimately will lead to limits on emissions from many other sources, including motels, hotels, restaurants, bakeries, and shopping malls. There is no sound science justifying such draconian regulation, so EPA’s endangerment finding violates the Federal Information Quality Act, which requires EPA to base regulation only on ‘the best available science and supporting studies conducted in accordance with sound and objective scientific practices.'”
Maureen Martin, J.D.
Senior Fellow, Legal Affairs
The Heartland Institute