Washington, D.C., February 27, 2012 – EPA’s economically ruinous plans for regulating greenhouse gas emissions are being challenged in federal court this week by a broad array of states and private parties, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Science and Environmental Policy Project, and FreedomWorks. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Tuesday and Wednesday in a set of cases challenging EPA’s decision to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as pollutants under the Clean Air Act. The court will also review a series of major EPA regulations based on that decision.
The petitioners argue that EPA acted arbitrarily and illegally in a number of respects: it ignored the severe shortcomings of climate models; it illegally adopted the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; and it refused to reopen its proceedings in the wake of Climategate. The agency also ignored the fact that its incredibly costly regulations will have no detectable impact on global temperature. Despite their extraordinary economic impacts, their much-ballyhooed benefits will in fact amount to zero.
“The fact that the court is devoting two days to hearing these cases demonstrates the importance of these legal questions. But from a political standpoint, there’s even more at stake,” said CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis. “In 2010, after two decades of global warming advocacy, Congress declined to give EPA explicit authority to regulate greenhouse gases when Senate leaders pulled the plug on cap-and-trade legislation. EPA’s insistence on going forward with its command-and-control agenda despite this defies both history and logic.”
Last year, EPA’s own Inspector General found that the agency based its 2009 “Endangerment Finding” (that emissions from greenhouse gases endanger the public health and welfare) on a flawed and inadequate assessment of climate science, and that EPA’s peer review methodology did not meet OMB requirements for highly influential scientific assessments. (See EPA IG Report)
The appeals court’s rulings in Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA are anticipated this summer. (View the legal brief.)
Marlo Lewis in the Federalist Society journal Engage, EPA Regulation of Fuel Economy: Congressional Intent or Climate Coup?