U.S. Senate plans to overturn EPA ruling
by KATHLEEN HARTNETT WHITE
May 27, 2010 | 1368 views | 2 2 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
THE U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Endangerment Finding that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a pollutant harmful to human health is a prime candidate for a rarely used authority in the U.S. Senate to overturn a regulatory decision. A shrewd plan to use this authority is under way. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has scheduled a vote on a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act.

A resolution under this law is privileged, meaning that the Senate must vote on it. Passage needs only a simple majority of 51 senators. Before concluding this will never happen with the current makeup of the Senate, remember that 10 Democratic Senators recently wrote a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson requesting that she suspend implementation of the Endangerment Finding. An unavoidable vote to veto EPA’s finding will provide a record of votes on a key issue in this November’s elections.

The Endangerment Finding, broadly criticized by both parties, has been used by the Obama Administration as a political tool from the start. EPA coincidentally adopted the finding on the first day of the international conference in Copenhagen to finalize a binding international treaty on carbon caps. A final Endangerment Finding enabled President Obama to claim, at this meeting, that the U.S. had full legal authority to force reduction of CO2 even without new legislation.

By officially declaring that CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG) are harmful pollutants, EPA triggered the command and control authority to regulate under the existing Clean Air Act. Proponents and opponents of GHG reduction agree that the act is wholly unsuited to regulate a compound as ubiquitous as CO2. The cap and trade bills set a regulatory threshold at 25,000 tons of annual CO2 emissions, but the act sets this threshold at 250 tons. At this low level, churches, hotels, schools and large homes would be subject to complex and costly EPA mandates.

LAST FEBRUARY, the state of Texas legally challenged EPA’s Endangerment Finding in the D.C. Circuit Court. Sixteen other states have followed suit. This litigation challenges EPA’s reliance on flawed global warming science now discredited by the Climategate disclosures of data manipulation, error, subversion of basic peer review, and violation of Freedom of Information laws.

Sen. Murkowski’s resolution raises another fundamental question appropriate for elected representatives to answer. Should unelected agency staff make decisions as monumental as EPA’s Endangerment Finding? Has EPA usurped the prerogative of the U.S. Congress, acting a lawmaker instead of an implementer of those laws enacted by Congress?

The legal authority created by EPA’s Endangerment Finding is used as a cudgel to force passage of new cap and trade legislation, misleadingly pitched as a more market-friendly regulatory mechanism. That strategy is not working. Polls show increasing majorities of voters oppose carbon mandates. The same polls show voters want a genuine energy bill – to facilitate plentiful, affordable and reliable energy—not more taxpayer subsidized green gimmicks.

Sen. Murkowski’s resolution to disapprove (nullify) EPA’s Endangerment Finding is scheduled for the week of June 7. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a cap-and-trade supporter who has also co-sponsored Murkowski’s resolution, told the New York Times late last week he believes the resolution will pass.

Kathleen Hartnett White is Distinguished Senior Fellow in Residence and Director of the Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin. White is the former Chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. khwhite@texaspolicy.com
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John A. Jauregui
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May 31, 2010
Question: What are the chances an infinitesimal (.04%) trace gas (CO2), essential to photosynthesis and therefore life on this planet, is responsible for runaway Global Warming?

Answer: Infinitesimal

The IPCC now agrees. See the IPCC Technical Report section entitled Global Warming Potential (GWP). And the GWP for CO2? Just 1, (one), unity, the lowest of all green house gases (GHG). What’s more, trace gases which include GHG constitute less than 1% of the atmosphere. Of that 1%, water vapor, the most powerful GHG, makes ups 40% of the total. Carbon dioxide is 1/10th of that amount, an insignificant .04%. If carbon dioxide levels were cut in half to 200PPM, all plant growth would stop according to agricultural scientists. It's no accident that commercial green house owner/operators invest heavily in CO2 generators to increase production, revenues and profits. Prof. Michael Mann's Bristle cone tree proxy data (Hockey stick) proves nothing has done more to GREEN (verb) the planet over the past few decades than moderate sun-driven warming (see solar inertial motion) together with elevated levels of CO2, regardless of the source. None of these facts have been reported in the national media. Why?

Techguy2396
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May 29, 2010
Global warming science is neither flawed or discredited.

The so-called "climate gate" issue, revolved around a single email - out of thousands - that sought to calibrate the growth of tree rings over centuries - based on known levels of carbon dioxide during those times.

In case you are wondering how we could know the carbon dioxide levels from centuries ago, nature itself has provided a very simple method for us. Ice samples taken from the Arctic and Antarctic regions, contain concentrations of CO2 that can be measured.

And the tree rings themselves can be dated by Carbon 14, which is an accurate dating method for the past 50,000 years. Carbon 14 has also been independently verified by radio-isometric and potassium argon dating.

As for global warming, NASA scientists routinely track it with satellites, using high resolution digital cameras. The polar icecaps are indeed melting, and the Earth is becoming warmer as a result.

The only reason why global warming is not more pronounced, considering all of the CO2 that has been dumped into the atmosphere, is because the oceans have been acting as a heat sink. That will not continue forever, and eventually, the results will be felt on dry land.

You have already met the people who will be most affected by global warming. They are your children and grandchildren. They will live in a world that you helped to create. Let us hope that they will not remember you adversely for it.