Obama Eyes Carbon As A ‘Pollutant’

Published February 25, 2009

The Obama administration is about to take the first step toward regulating carbon dioxide as an “air pollutant” under the Clean Air Act, according to Carol Browner, the administration’s special advisor on climate change and energy.

The effects of this effort will be monumental.

A finding by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that carbon dioxide, one of several greenhouse gases, endangers human health or welfare may come as soon as April 2, 2009. This finding will trigger federal regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from new motor vehicles and may lead to further regulation of CO2 emissions from numerous small and large sources, including commercial and industrial buildings. This finding may also require that new sources of these emissions, as well as those undergoing major modifications, obtain federal preconstruction permits.

Under the federal Information Quality Act, such a regulatory juggernaut must be based on “accurate, clear, complete, and unbiased” scientific information. In addition, EPA rules require “the best available science and supporting studies conducted in accordance with sound and objective scientific practices” before imposing such requirements. EPA has no such information showing carbon dioxide to be a dangerous pollutant.

EPA relies primarily on two science sources: the most recent report from the 2007 UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and the U.S. Climate Change Science Program synthesis reports. The IPCC reports were promulgated by government bureaucrats, however, and their predictions of climate change are based on discredited computer models.

As for the synthesis reports, more recent and more reliable science shows that human-induced climate change is not taking place, that anthropogenic carbon dioxide does not cause global warming, and that a period of global cooling appears to be taking place.

The Heartland Institute and the Cato Institute, among others, have objected to EPA’s use of this data because it is unsound and violates the Information Quality Act.

The following climate and legal experts may be quoted directly or you may choose to contact them directly.

Maureen Martin, senior fellow for legal affairs for the Heartland Institute, (920) 229-6670 or at [email protected].:

“The proposed federal regulation of carbon dioxide is flatly illegal.”

S. Fred Singer, president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, and Distinguished Research Professor at George Mason University ([email protected]):

“The CO2 wars have begun. Presumably under White House direction, the EPA is ready to issue an ‘Endangerment Finding’ on carbon dioxide, paving the way for regulations to control CO2 emissions.” He adds that “CO2 is not a ‘pollutant.’ And the climate has not been warming since 1998—in spite of steadily rising CO2 levels.”

Craig Idso, chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change ([email protected]):

“Although the IPCC claims to be unbiased and based on the best available science, such is not the case. In many instances conclusions have been seriously exaggerated, relevant facts have been distorted, and key scientific studies have been omitted or ignored.”

Patrick J. Michaels, a professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and a senior fellow of Washington’s Cato Institute ([email protected]):

“It is becoming increasingly clear that the midrange computer models [those whose predictions are at or near the median] used by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for its projections of global warming are failing by any reasonable scientific standard. If we have no valid projections, we have no defensible policy.”