Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act

Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act

August 31, 2009

Full Document Available in PDF

For all of the reasons cited in the comments, we object to EPA outsourcing its judgment, relying upon the impermissibly unreliable products of GCMs, ignoring applicable information quality and peer review requirements,  and other problems described herein which reveal that EPA should have accepted the Court’s invitation in Massachusetts v. EPA, of choosing to not declare that Man-made GHGs pose an “endangerment”. Instead, as we argue above, EPA’s most responsible course is to seek specific direction from Congress as to whether and how to perform such an admittedly enormous and potentially severely disruptive task.

We note the inaccuracy of EPA insisting it “exercise[d] reasoned decision making, and avoid[ed] speculative or crystal ball inquiries.” (pp. 26-27) This incredible stance makes light of the fact that the sources to which EPA outsourced its judgments, and the GCMs on which they rely, ignore observations that appear to disprove their theory or their outputs. We recall here that the original petition from which EPA’s Finding springs was made when temperatures appeared to be rising, if relatively slightly and aided by an El Nino, though still leaving the three-decade-plus cooling prior to the late 1970s as an inconvenient truth opposing its premise.

With temperatures “plateauing” according to IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri, and with recent cooling, we see there has actually been no warming since the “global warming” petition that spawned EPA’s Finding. It has cooled since, yet EPA claims it relies in part on “observations” for its Finding.

It seems also fair to assume that, were temperatures more cooperative, EPA would not be so silent as to their behavior but would instead trumpet them as further supporting what we explain here does appear to be a “desired outcome”, one that EPA struggles in its Finding to support. All of which exposes EPA’s decision as somewhat lacking in foundation, and its claims of relying on observations and avoiding speculative or crystal ball inquiries as unsupportable. In short, EPA impermissibly overstates the warming influence of anthropogenic activities.

EPA instead has arbitrarily sought to force into the round hole of a CAA “endangerment” finding the square peg of regulating, at the margins, what a truly “global” assessment indicates is a climatically trivial or de minimis overall potential greenhouse forcing from U.S. tailpipe emissions, or section 202(a) sources, all of which represent a declining percentage global emissions and a slight fraction of total annual global GHG production from all sources. These are even more trivial climate factors still should EPA have considered, as it must, the major climate drivers of the sun, clouds and oceans. Again we note EPA’s arbitrary approach to finding that U.S. GHG emissions are “significant”, of only comparing them to the total anthropogenic GHG budget, and not the total GHG budget of which Man contributes a very small percentage (see supra pp. 9, 15).

Related Files: EPA-HQ-OAR.pdf