EPA asking for input on CO2/GHG – let’s give it to them

From this page (h/t Dave Hagen)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting comment from all interested parties on options and questions to be considered for possible greenhouse gas regulations under the Clean Air Act. EPA is issuing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to gather information and determine how to proceed.

The Advance Notice

The ANPR is one of the steps EPA has taken in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Massachusetts v. EPA. The Court found that the Clean Air Act authorizes EPA to regulate tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions if EPA determines they cause or contribute to air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare. The ANPR reflects the complexity and magnitude of the question of whether and how greenhouse gases could be effectively controlled under the Clean Air Act.

The document summarizes much of EPA’s work and lays out concerns raised by other federal agencies during their review of this work. EPA is publishing this notice at this time because it is impossible to simultaneously address all the agencies’ issues and respond to the agency’s legal obligations in a timely manner.

Key Issues for Discussion and Comment in the ANPR:

  • Descriptions of key provisions and programs in the CAA, and advantages and disadvantages of regulating GHGs under those provisions;
  • How a decision to regulate GHG emissions under one section of the CAA could or would lead to regulation of GHG emissions under other sections of the Act, including sections establishing permitting requirements for major stationary sources of air pollutants;
  • Issues relevant for Congress to consider for possible future climate legislation and the potential for overlap between future legislation and regulation under the existing CAA; and,
  • Scientific information relevant to, and the issues raised by, an endangerment analysis.

EPA will accept public comment on the ANPR for 120 days following its publication in the Federal Register.

Background

In April 2007, the Supreme Court concluded that GHGs meet the CAA definition of an air pollutant.  Therefore, EPA has authority under the CAA to regulate GHGs subject to the endangerment test for new motor vehicles – an Agency determination that GHG emissions from new motor vehicles cause or contribute to air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.

A decision to regulate GHG emissions for motor vehicles impacts whether other sources of GHG emissions would need to be regulated as well, including establishing permitting requirements for stationary sources of air pollutants.

How to Comment

  • Comments should be identified by the following Docket ID Number: EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0318
  • Comments should be submitted by one of the following method
    • www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
    • Email: a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov
    • Fax: 202-566-9744
    • Mail: Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. In addition, please mail a copy of your comments on the information collection provisions to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Attn: Desk Officer for EPA, 725 17th St. NW., Washington, DC 20503.
    • Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center, EPA West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington DC, 20004. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket’s normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.
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65 thoughts on “EPA asking for input on CO2/GHG – let’s give it to them

  1. “In April 2007, the Supreme Court concluded that GHGs meet the CAA definition of an air pollutant. ”

    The problem with that statement is a constitutional one. Only Congress or the EPA can define what constitutes a pollutant. The EPA refused to do so; if there was enough votes in Congress to either add various GHGs to the list of pollutants, or to rewrite certain sections of the law itself, all would be well. Now we are in an administrative quandry. What if a future Congress or EPA chief wishes to remove GHGs? Must they now file a complaint in court? How will the EPA treat water vapor? Water vapor, unlike CO2, is not a trace gas. According to the Courts, all GHGs now can be regulated.

    Farms benefit from CO2. If reducing CO2 is now a judicial mandate, how will farmers react to the potential yield loss. I know this sounds ridiculous, but the Alarmists now have opened up a Pandora’s Box releasing such nonsense. Circumventing the legislative process may yeild short term political benefits, but create a lot of long term mischief.

  2. Has anyone thought of the idea that since CO2 is food for the plants to tamper with CO2 is to harm the plants? If the Endangered Species Act protects certain species from harm then we should find a plant specie which requires large amount of CO2 to survive and propagate therefore cutting down amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere is a danger to this plant specie survival.

  3. Since water vapour and carbon dioxide are naturally occurring gases in the atmosphere, and both are necessary for life to exist, they cannot be considered to be pollutants.

  4. I understand that some car emissions are toxic and I sure don’t like breathing them. But CO2 is not one of them. How can one segment of the industrial community be forced to reduce it (via exhaust controls) while another generously pumps it into greenhouses to improve plant growth and health? I think our converters are good enough. And besides, anything more added to the cars we buy while lead to further reductions in gas mileage.

  5. a plant specie which requires large amount of CO2 to survive and propagate

    Unfortunately, such a plant is very unlikely to exist. Plants that can utilize lower CO2 concentrations would have driven to extinction plants that needed higher CO2 concentrations, by removing CO2 from the atmosphere to the point the plant needing a higher concentration couldn’t survive.

  6. Phillip Bratby (09:17:43) : Since water vapour and carbon dioxide are naturally occurring gases in the atmosphere, and both are necessary for life to exist, they cannot be considered to be pollutants.

    Actually, sunlight contains a known carcinogen (ultraviolet light). That means that sunlight effectively contains a pollutant. Think about it.

    You might argue that regulating sunlight is impossible. Perhaps, but taking a clue from the way marijuana was initially regulated, the EPA could mandate regulation regarding sunlight exposure (like making convertibles illegal).

    I think the entire concept of the EPA was faulty from the beginning. It is the most powerful agency in the country not only because it enjoys reduced oversight but it places incredible power in the EPA administrator. DDT was banned by the action of a single individual, the EPA administrator. The EPA is almost a fourth branch of government.

    But that is neither here nor there. We’re stuck with it. Fortunately, the EPA at least makes token attempts so we should take advantage of any crumbs scattered by the agency.

    It’s quite possible a public response to a Request for Comment will fall on deaf ears but it’s worth a shot.

  7. Another constitutional question might be; what section of the constitution authorizes congress to regulate any emissions?

  8. Phillip Bratby (09:17:43) wrote

    Since water vapour and carbon dioxide are naturally occurring gases in the atmosphere, and both are necessary for life to exist, they cannot be considered to be pollutants.
    ___________
    Actually, they probably can fall into the same class of pollutants as sediment, non-point sources, where the substances are naturally occurring, widespread thru out the system and untraceable to a particular point source, but declared a pollutant based on quantity, deleterious to certain beneficial uses (paraphrasing the 1972 Clean Water Act).

    However, no body of science has yet definitively shown CO2 to be deleterious to anything under current atmospheric concentrations. Models and speculations are not scientific proof.

  9. David Segesta (10:04:39) : “Another constitutional question might be; what section of the constitution authorizes congress to regulate any emissions?”

    The short answer is: none specifically. Just a nit: congress doesn’t regulate is passes acts which are laws — agencies regulate. The long answer is: the EPA is a part of the executive branch and created by Nixon using an executive order. Constitutional sections applicable to the executive branch are the key.

    BTW: if you read the Constitution carefully, you will note that at best it only mentions what laws cannot be passed and never mentions which ones can. This is also general in law where actions are banned and few are mandated.

  10. DAV,

    From what I gather, a pollutant is a substance or action which affects nature, based upon a frame of reference, not visa versa. Therefore, how does something such as sunlight pollute based solely on the reason that is can cause cancer in humans?

  11. Another constitutional question might be; what section of the constitution authorizes congress to regulate any emissions?

    Commerce clause. (Article 1, Section 8, clause 3) “The Congress shall have power […]
    To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes; […]
    ” Any item which is part of the public commons (such as air) is regulatable under this clause. Especially as the only other option to regulate such things would be punitive tort actions.

    Plants that can utilize lower CO2 concentrations would have driven to extinction plants that needed higher CO2 concentrations, by removing CO2 from the atmosphere to the point the plant needing a higher concentration couldn’t survive.

    That’s backwards thinking. Plants that utilize lower CO2 concentrations by definition use less, not more. This is why desert-hardy plants, despite requiring far less water, don’t out-breed high-water utilization plants in high-water regions. They’re poorly adapted. In this case, the use of lower amounts of CO2 does not equate to higher growth rates in high CO2 environments.

  12. Since human beings and animals emit CO2 , we may
    have to introduce mandatory euthenasia for a certain
    percentage of animals and humans. This may be advantageous for environmentlists and democrats
    who want to limit the cost of Medicare and Social
    Security and reduce the world’s populations .If this
    occurs , I would recommend that the first ones to be subject to euthenasia would be environmentalists,
    followed by the hollywood elite , members of congress , and members of the Supreme Court .

  13. Went to the EPA site in the link provided at the start of this posting. Found the PDF file for the ANPR — all 570 pages worth! A little reading is in order so that any response is properly tuned to the EPA position.

  14. If you do the math, you’ll find that the average person exhales roughly the same amount of CO2 as a car driven 12-15000 miles per year, something like 7 tons per person per year, assuming a sedimentary lifestyle (no frequent vigorous exercise). So, will the EPA regulate human emissions? If not, why not? I’m not advocating that they do, just pointing out the ridiculousness of this. What about pet emissions? In Europe, doctors are being asked to encourage their patients to limit themselves to 2 kids to reduce their “carbon footprint”, should the EPA also put a limit on population growth?

  15. Yes. IConrad is correct. Thus Govenment has no limits since everything touches air or water or could maybe do so. The constitution is therefore toilet paper. Politcal power comes from the end of a gun. Bwahaha

  16. jim;

    Nobody asked if it was a good idea. It was asked where the power was derived from. That is all.

    If anyone is going to take us at all seriously we have to drop the paranoid conspiracy schtick and actually take to at least recognizing the existence of our counterpart’s arguments.

    The simple answer to the commerce clause claim is then to ask it be demonstrated what damages have been done by CO2.

    The real problem here is the legal definition per the CAA which has been reinterpreted to include CO2 as a pollutant, and thus open to regulation via the commerce clause as it is a negative externality — that is to say, it is a part of the “mercantile commerce system”.

    Pick your battles and fight them with sense, not venom.

  17. In other cases the influence of “out of country” emissions was minimal or easy to address (e.g. Canadian SO2 emissions from Ontario) by bilateral treaty.

    All the EPA did was to set targets in the atmosphere where people live at ground level. Fixed sources were dealt with to help meet these goals. Complex and full of politics but easy compared to CO2. Even if we accept the climate models, what should the target be? And if the global average is the problem, then any EPA regulation cannot impact this directly.

    The California/New England regulations are only focussed on fixed sources (power plants) and not on home furnaces, cars, small commerical buildings etc.

    The whole thing will rapidly become a nightmare of command and control regulation or be restricted to an onerous and ineffective requirement for electric power generation only.

  18. OT So Cal just got hit with a major earthquake not more than 2 minutes ago don’t know the magnitude yet. Scary

  19. Matt Annecharico (10:39:26) : From what I gather, a pollutant is a substance or action which affects nature, based upon a frame of reference, not visa versa. Therefore, how does something such as sunlight pollute based solely on the reason that is can cause cancer in humans?

    No need to be pedantic. I said “effectively contains a pollutant.” One meaning of effectively: “For all practical purposes; in effect” meaning, of course, “just as if.” One possible effect of a pollutant (perhaps even a basis for calling it one) is its carcinogenic properties.

  20. What about the oceans? Up to 200 miles out is US government jurisdiction thus the government is responsible for the ocean co2 outgassing of that part. Add in the Great Lakes and all the surface waters under US regulation, and that a whoppin big amount of “pollutin” being perpetrated by good old Uncle Sam.
    Not to mention the amounts of co2 expelled by plant matter decomposition and forest fires.
    Who answers for that?
    Someone might bring up Ross McKittrick’s variable tax rate with the scale pegged to the temperature rise actually measured from increased co2 in the atmosphere. That would be a good suggestion for the EPA regarding steps to be taken to mitigate co2 induced “climate change”.

  21. James H – that is exactly what I was going to point out. I think this is a possible end run to enact population controls on the world. Paul Ehrlich thought that any population over 1 billion was “pollution.” Thus, 5/6 ths of us are essentially “pollution” and should be eliminated from the planet. Soylent Green for anyone?

  22. It is a great idea to send comments to the EPA on the subject of regulating greenhouse gases. You all know the science on the subject. Your input as to the futility, impossibility, and harm that will result from from regulation are necessary to develop an administrative record to justify doing nothing rather than attempting to regulate.
    * * *
    Some of the comments about the authority of Congress and/or the EPA to act miss the point. You fail to note the existence of the “necessary and proper clause” in Art I, Sec 8 of the Constitution. Art I Sec 8 states the delineates the authority of Congress. The final clause states:

    “To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

    This clause was narrowly construed until the Supreme Court enabled Roosevelt’s New Deal laws with a revised broad and liberal construction in 1934. SCOTUS maintained this approach of Federal supremacy until the influence of Thomas, Scalia, and more recently Alito and Roberts began to prevail. Now reserved States’ rights and originalist meaning have been emphasized to curtail the scope and application of the “necessary and proper clause.” However, bad decisions like “Kelo” (eminent domain), and the Court playing scientist to decide that CO2 is a pollutant still occur.

    The conservative “originalist” approach to construction of the Constitution can be expected to further curtail judicial activism. If one more conservative judge is added, SCOTUS will stop legislating through its decisions.

    Conversely, if Obama is elected he will appoint liberal activists to the Court. Their policy-making from the bench will lay the ground work for conversion of our government to Euro-style socialism without the need for Congress to act.

    To put this into perspective, two statements attributed to De Tocqueville come to mind:

    “Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”

    “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

    Since 2006 Congress, to the extent it has acted, showed that knows how to bribe us. The future will be determined by whoever is elected as the next President. This is not intended to influence how any one votes. I have described the situation that exists and how it can change depending upon who is the next President.

  23. 1. CO2 (human emitted) effect on global temperature is statistically not discernable.
    2. CO2 makes the planet greener.

    EPA ought to focus on litter and clean water, and stop wasting our tax dollars on this nonsense.

  24. So, will the EPA regulate human emissions? If not, why not? I’m not advocating that they do, just pointing out the ridiculousness of this.

    Ridiculous it may be but there is ample precedent in previous government actions. Elsewhere I mentioned the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act. Harry Anslinger, then Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, initially resisted regulation by pointing out that marijuana was a common wild weed growing nearly everywhere; even on the banks of the Potomac. IOW: it was as silly as regulating crabgrass. Happened anyway, you may note. Of course, the fact that another byproduct of the plant, hemp fiber, just by sheer coincidence was a competitor with cotton likely had nothing to do with the 1937 Act.

    No point in bringing up the absurdity. Federal action in regard to CO2 is a very likely possibility regardless of the questionable forethought. Fight the action but calling it ridiculous will only get you relegated to the nut pile.

  25. Peter,
    [rant]
    better to get a chance to leave first. The remaining folks will turn the key to off, anyway.
    [/rant]
    Hmmm, I was allways curious/amazed, why people leaving/escaping their countries, choosing the unknown – which could be worse – than staying with the known.
    There seems the be a certain percentage – probably less than 10 percent – among every nation/society, who really live by the words: “Give me freedom… or give me death”.

    Unfortunately, nearly allways, the herd behavior crowd prefers – by indoctrination/
    propaganda – to use the cheaper method, death, to get rid of inconvenience minorities. But that’s not allways manageable. Usually, the easiest way, is to provide a free ticket/transportation for them and take away all their properties.
    Was done that way, much too often, in human history.

    Mars, here we come…. and beyond …. there’s a whole Universe …. waiting for us to fill it.
    Peter, book me on that flight, too.

    Regards

    KlausB

  26. A lot of the posts miss the point (some catch it). The Supremes, when they work outside the normal legislative process, create chaos. This is what conservatives have long argued – I won’t go into what they have argued about, but both congress and the president are increasingly releasing power to an unelected elite. The administration should explicitely state that the court has overstepped its bounds, and fight back. But they won’t…

    Comments should explicitely talk about the economic effects. In any EPA rule making, they are bound to take cost benefit into account by their own rules. You should also state up front that the Administration should choose this fight to stake out the limits of the various branches….

  27. Plants evolved when CO2 levels were much higher than now. In fact, before our industrialization, we were reaching record low levels of CO2. I recently saw a television special on either National Geographic or Science Channel where the demise of life on Earth was going to come from CO2 depletion due to erosion.

    The CO2 would continue to fall, the plants would die, then the herbivores would die and then the carnivores would die. CO2 is not a pollutant, it is a vital plant nutrient.

  28. Brendan (12:59:32) : A lot of the posts miss the point (some catch it). The Supremes, when they work outside the normal legislative process, create chaos. … The administration should explicitly state that the court has overstepped its bounds, and fight back. But they won’t

    Brendan, I understand the sentiment but the U.S. Supreme Court (vs. the Motown group) ruling was only in regard to a categorization of CO2 under the CAA definition. If the administration were to comment as you suggest, then the administration would be out of line. The Supreme Court was well within its “bounds.” The real harm was the CAA being sufficiently broad enough to allow inclusion of CO2 using its definitions.

    If you don’t like what Congress and the President are doing, help find someone better and vote out the incumbents.

  29. Commerce clause. (Article 1, Section 8, clause 3) “The Congress shall have power […]
    To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes; […]” Any item which is part of the public commons (such as air) is regulatable under this clause.

    CO2 emissions are “commerce”?

    LOL!

    Only in the bizarro upside down world of neo-conservative thinking.

  30. How much CO2 is TOO low for plants to flourish? How low do we want it, 280 ppm? What if we deindustrialize and then find the levels falling lower? Do we then pull all the old Cadillacs out of the museums and fire ’em up?
    Just wondering…

  31. Sent my e-mail today.

    Paddy L said
    The future will be determined by whoever is elected as the next President. This is not intended to influence how any one votes. I have described the situation that exists and how it can change depending upon who is the next President.

    That statement is likely true, but both main party candidates, Obama and McCain, support the AGW agenda. As to appointments to the SCOTUS both candidates are likely to appoint bad judges who will put our rights in jeopardy. Its just a question of which rights. The 2nd amendment might be lost under Obama and habeas corpus might be lost under McCain. So the question is; do you want to lose your right to keep and bear arms or do you want to be thrown in jail without charges and without legal recourse and left there until you rot?

    If you want a candidate who supports your rights you are down to Bob Barr of the libertarian party or Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution party. And of those two, Chuck Baldwin seems to be the only one who questions AGW.

    Anthony, my apologies for injecting politics into a science forum, but the AGW debate has injected itself into politics without help from me.

  32. David Segesta (13:18:50) :”If you want a candidate who supports your rights you are down to Bob Barr of the libertarian party or Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution party. And of those two, Chuck Baldwin seems to be the only one who questions AGW.”

    Unfortunately, either would be as lame our current lame duck president.

    I don’t like any of the candidates but that’s democracy at its best: no candidate completely pleases anyone. McCain at least has made noise about supporting offshore drilling. I originally thought well of Obama (still do somewhat) but I might just go with McCain.

    The sad truth is: the Republicans haven’t a snowball’s chance in a traditionally warm place. Makes Obama the winner by default. Unless, of course, he makes some fantastic blunder like coming out in favor of child abuse.

    It really doesn’t matter what the candidates say about AGW. It’s not really a campaign issue (like energy price and supply is going to be) so mutterings along the line of the perceived “consensus” is the safest strategy . Nobody wants a repeat of the last two elections.

  33. JP stole my thunder. Water vapour is a far more dangerous green house gas :-) and should be regulated much more stringently than CO2. CO2 on the other hand is a fertilizer and more of it is good. Same goes for water vapour too :-)

    However, I don’t thinkl me just writing in will help will it?

    Green hosues regularly use 1000 ppm CO2 concentrations. I suggest the EPA regulate an increase in CO2 to 1000 ppm.
    .

  34. At what point would a plan of CO2 mitigation become ridiculous? Let’s say alternative energy & energy efficiency measures become feasible and widespread & the USA cuts 75% of its CO2 emissions by 2050, but CO2 levels climb ever faster from the developing world. Will it mean the USA will have to cut yet more even though cutting the remaining 25% becomes increasingly cost-prohibitive?

    There’s a point where it’s unreasonable to burden individuals with controlling their minor non-point source emissions. A wood-burning stove in the back country is a fart in a hurricane & we want the gov’t to leave us the heck alone. Or how ’bout owners of funky old rides, like my 40-year old classic? http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2980523

    Meanwhile successive generations of increasingly fuel-efficient cars can be delivered through the marketplace without excessively punitive laws.

  35. James H — “If you do the math, you’ll find that the average person exhales roughly the same amount of CO2 as a car driven 12-15000 miles per year, something like 7 tons per person per year, assuming a sedimentary lifestyle (no frequent vigorous exercise).”

    Actually, I think anyone with a sedimentary lifestyle is unlikely to exercise much at all, much less vigourously… and probably what the Ehrlich followers (i.e. almost all of the greens seem to be Malthusians) want from most of us anyway. We certainly won’t be driving.

  36. If the crazy AGW proponents get their way regulating CO2 until it reaches pre-Industrial level could plunge us to a new little ice age if it’s combined with a negative PDO and sunspotless sun (Maunder or Dalton Minimum). If that happens heaven help us.

  37. what section of the constitution authorizes congress to regulate any emissions?

    The courts have ruled that anything that might possibly cross a state border, can be regulated by congress.

    Have you ever hear the case of the farmer who didn’t buy corn?
    Seems a particular farmer was growing his own corn to feed his own cows. He felt that the fact that he was not engaging in interstate commerce meant that the feds had no authority to regulate how much corn he was growing.

    The courts ruled that since he was growing his own corn, he therefore was not buying corn. The corn that he would have bought possibly would have crossed a state border. Hence, by not buying corn, the farmer was affecting interstate commerce, therefore congress had a right to regulate his corn production.

    There are some scholars who refer to the commerce clause as the clause that ate the constitution.

  38. if you read the Constitution carefully, you will note that at best it only mentions what laws cannot be passed and never mentions which ones can.

    There’s a reason for this.

    The constitution grants congress certain powers. By definition, if the constitution doesn’t directly authorize it, congress doesn’t have the power to pass laws.

    Unfortunately the courts have, over the years, decided that certain clauses mean things that the founders never intended them to mean, and by such reasoning, have decided to let congress do anything it wants.

    A few years ago, the SC ruled that congress has the power to regulate political speech, even though the 1st ammendment clearly states that congress shall make no law restricting the freedom of speech, because the SC decided that the appearance of a fair election was more important than anything in the constitution itself.

  39. You all have no idea how far through the looking glass things have gone. The EPA does NOT consider offsetting benefits or any cost-benefit ratio of substances determined to be “pollutants.” Pollutants have no legally cognizable “benefits”under the EPA. The only legal calculation is the degree of risk of adverse environmental effect. Loss of environmental benefit (much less economic benefit) is not a category of the analysis. The only cost calculation considered is a pragmatic one as to the cost of compliance with the threshold levels being considered.

    So the issue is quite simple really. Water vapor is a more comprehensive and powerful GHG than CO2. Even CO2 impact is a matter of vapor feedback. Water vapor is emitted at a lower level per watt of power by hydrocarbon engines compared with purely hydrogen-burning engines or fuel cells (a simple mass balance for equivalent heat can determine that). So the logic is very simple.

    The EPA’s decision is a foregone conclusion – if logic is followed – ban hydrogen vehicles as the worst total emitters of GHG’s, and promote hydrocarbon engines as lower in dihydrogen monoxide footprint. (Subject to CAFE limits, of course).

    Hands up anyone who thinks logic is driving decision-making at EPA? Ahem.

    …. anyone?

    … anyone?

  40. ..sometimes, I’m asking myself, when it’s time for the
    “Boston AGW Party”
    …. sorry, ranting again

  41. Mark w said;
    The constitution grants congress certain powers. By definition, if the constitution doesn’t directly authorize it, congress doesn’t have the power to pass laws.

    You got it brother. BTW that premise is also specifically stated in the 10th amendment for those who didn’t understand the original constitution. Unfortunately the SC justices don’t understand either part.

    My “help wanted ad” for SC justices would say; “must be able to read the simple language of the constitution. Non-readers need not apply.”

  42. EPA in implementing regulations uses cost benefit all the time. Its not always consistent, but that depends how much the public screams about it…

    DAV –
    Nowhere – and I mean NOWHERE – in the CAA does it specify CO2 as a pollutant. It does specify pollutants that need to be dealt with, and EPA has done that in the past. The supremes in their arrogance took it upon themselves to add it. That is a complete judicial over reach, whether you like it or not. By doing so, they have placed the entire management of US industry, as well as normal people, under EPA’s jurisdiciton. When I say that they have overreached their bounds, and that it would be within the right of the administration to tell them where to go, I am only stating that the adminstration should defend the constitution. Congress certainly won’t. Each branch has its limits, and the supremes have well gone beyond theirs…

  43. According to Chief Justice Roberts:

    The realities make it pure conjecture to suppose that EPA regulation of new automobile emissions will likely prevent the loss of Massachusetts coastal land.

    This is much of what we have been discussing in this forum. The misuse of models and data is rampant. I will state categorically that the models that predict land loss as MA complained use the absolute worst case scenarios as predicted with completely unsupportable models (i.e. – they cannot predict today’s environment given past inputs…)

    Let me finish with another quote from Roberts….

    The limitation of the judicial power to cases and controversies “is crucial in maintaining the tripartite allocation of power set forth in the Constitution.” DaimlerChrysler, 547 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 5) (internal 14 quotation marks omitted). In my view, the Court today—addressing Article III’s “core component of standing,” Defenders of Wildlife, supra, at 560—fails to take this limitation seriously.

    He says it better than I, but then he’s the Chief Justice. He basically backs up my opinion of overreach.

  44. Silly,yes, but… I wonder if there is an plant equivalent to “free range” chickens? Perhaps we can demand “High C02 grown” vegetables, plants grown is an atmosphere joyfully rich in C02. “Don’t torture plants by starvation. Give them the C02 they so richly deserve!” It’s not any government’s right to deny the living carbon world (biomass) the C02 that it loves — and subsequently feeds humans that create the civilization (along with its government agencies) that creates the extra C02. Why deny plants their just rewards?

  45. Brendan (18:22:33) : Nowhere – and I mean NOWHERE – in the CAA does it specify CO2 as a pollutant.

    Not sure what your point is, Brendan.

    The Court doesn’t make pronouncements except when asked. Apparently, the Court was asked to considered and rule on whether CO2 should be added to the pollutant. Seems the ruling was that it should have been based upon CAA criteria and the information was presented. It was ruling on the law; not the science. Considering that the U. S. Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of constitutionality it really doesn’t matter what others think about its constitutional limits. Obviously, by considering the case, the Court tacitly declared it to be within its purview.

    You may not like the ruling but there it is.

  46. So now the court writes legislation? At least half the court does. Yes, I don’t like it. That way lies tyranny. And gets back to my original point. The court did not “rule on the law” – the law was the clean air act. They expanded that law. And used falty science to back it up. The left likes to talk about fascism coming from the right, but its not the right side of the court that developed this abominal ruling, or Kelo, or dozens of others that chip away at individual rights.

    The court started out with little power, and its exact powers are somewhat uncertain in the constitution. It gave itself power with Marbury v. Madison, and due to inaction by congress and the president, it continues to take power. I fear for the future.

  47. By the way, many people ask the court to “make pronouncements” (like a king? like a dictator?) – the court chooses vary few of the cases that are directed towards it. The court decides which ones it wants to take on, and it seems it does so in many current instances to expand its own power…

  48. Brendan (21:10:18) : By the way, many people ask the court to “make pronouncements” (like a king? like a dictator?)

    Pronouncement, ruling, opinion, arbitration. Well, yes, in a way. They all mean roughly the same thing. The Court interprets the intent and spirit of Congress. What do you think its job is?

    I think it a stretch to say the Court is writing legislation. It is reactive vs. proactive. I can’t think of any time the Court has ruled outside of answering a petition.

    Laws, Congressional Acts, and whatnot are perforce ambiguous and open to alternate interpretation because natural language is. The fact that there are multiple opinions on what laws say and how they interact is proof of that. Besides, even if they could be written unambiguously, the world isn’t static which opens the door to “what about this?” questions. Until such time Congress gets around to its own clarification, somebody has to provide one. I think the Constitution makes it pretty clear that that particular “somebody” is ultimately the Supreme Court. It’s the system we work under.

    How would you do it? If most agree with you, Congress can always modify the Constitution. Push for amendment. Or is that what your after here?

  49. Rats, I got bit by the cyber ghost. That got submitted before I could finish proofreading it. Sorry about the runon italics.

  50. Wil SCOTUS take upon its self the power to regulate CO2 emissions from China , Russia, India, and Brazil ?
    If we sucked out all the CO2 in the US , it would be replaced by world wide CO2 emissions . None of these countries are going to disadvantage them selves economically so what purpose would there be
    in regulating our CO2 emissions ? Besides since the
    IR absorption spectra is the same for industrial generated CO2 as natural CO2 , are we going to reduce all CO2 emissions by 90 % as our scientifically illiterate former VP Al Gore has advocated .
    In Al Gores physics and chemistry SATS , he scored
    below the 50th percentile while receiving Cs and Ds
    in Science at Harvard ( from 2000 Washington Post
    Article ).

  51. Will SCOTUS take upon its self the power to regulate CO2 emissions from China , Russia, India, and Brazil ?
    If we sucked out all the CO2 in the US , it would be replaced by world wide CO2 emissions . None of these countries are going to disadvantage them selves economically so what purpose would there be in regulating our CO2 emissions ? Besides since the IR absorption spectra is the same for industrial generated CO2 as natural CO2 , are we going to reduce all CO2 emissions by 90 % as our scientifically illiterate former VP Al Gore has advocated .
    In Al Gores physics and chemistry SATS , he scoredbelow the 50th percentile while receiving Cs and Ds in Science at Harvard ( from 2000 Washington Post Article ).

  52. Daniel, excellant analysis. However, I’m going to take a slightly different interpretation of EPA’s intentions in publishing this ANPR. My take: EPA is in a tough spot. It has been charged by SCOTUS to regulated CO2 as a tailpipe emission. But it doesn’t have any scientific basis for doing so.

    Automobile emission standards exist as a tool for bringing communities into compliance with National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Ozone, CO, NOx, SOx, PM2.5, and lead are pollutants for which NAAQS exist. The basis for establishing appropriate standards is the CAA’s requirement that the NAAQS be protective of human health and the environment. EPA’s does this through scientific studies.

    Problem: How does EPA establish a NAAQS for CO2 that will stand up to legal challenge?

    Answer: It follows the law and establishes a NAAQS that is “protective of human health;” i.e., one that is 10x higher than current ambient levels. They can then declare the entire US in “attainment” with the NAAQS and require no further action. (I believe there are many within EPA who would be amiable to this approach, they just don’t quite dare to do so. If we, through our comments, can provide them with a strong enough rationale, they could do this.)

    This approach doesn’t quite statisfy the SCOTUS requirement that it address CO2 as a GHG. However, no tools exist within the CAA to address GHGs directly. To do so, EPA must first establish the scientific evidence demonstrating that CO2 harms the environment. The only tool for doing so is climate modeling. This is the likely path EPA will take.

    What we must do is provide EPA with the ammunition to reject the modeling. We do this by submitting our comments, insisting that all modeling code, all algorithms, all input data, all calculations, all modeling assumptions, all “forcings” . . . be open for public review and comment. This is a reasonable request that EPA is unlikely to reject (or they can be legally challenged if they do). We can then document the scientific flaws within the Global Warming theory, setting the foundation for a legal challenge should EPA promulgate a CO2 emission standard that is based upon environmental impact.

  53. Daniel (19:14:48) 7/29/08 :

    I would be interested in your opinion in helping the EPA determine that “EPA can avoid taking further action only if it determines that greenhouse gases do not contribute to climate change.” With the publication of “On the credibility of climate predictions” D. KOUTSOYIANNIS, A. EFSTRATIADIS, N. MAMASSIS & A. CHRISTOFIDES, and Lucia’s excellent postings http://rankexploits.com/musings/ , and Dr. Wegman supporting the conclusions of http://www.climateaudit.org/pdf/mcintyre.mckitrick.2003.pdf . The basis of the current conclusions that CO2 will cause harm therefore enabling the EPA to regulate are currently in dissarray. If it can be reasonably shown that the conclusion of CO2 being the driving force under current conditions, will not the EPA be required to step aside? As indicated in your report, the Supreme Court ruled it would be proper for the EPA to not regulate if a such a conclusion could be made or “or if it provides some reasonable explanation as to why it cannot or will not exercise its discretion to determine whether they do”. It would be demonstrated to the EPA that KOUTSOYIANNIS, current conditions (Lucia), and mcintyre.mckitrick.2003.pdf, that it can only be concluded to preclude that the claim of CO2 is harmful, and that therefore the EPA must wait until such time as the harm has been demostrated since currently that “harm” has not been demonstrated, and actual worldwide temperatures are declining despite world CO2 levels are increasing.

  54. One “option” to control CO2, not that it needed, but that’s basically what we are talking about, is sequestration. This has a possible ring to it, until you realise that the atmosphere weight is around 5 x 10 to the fifteenth tonnes. 1 part per million is therefore 5 x 10 to the ninth tonnes. So to lower the concentration by 1 ppm requires that the aforesaid 5 billion tonnes be sequestered. That’s a heck of a lot of CO2. As dry ice, at 15.6Kg / cubic metre or 15.6 million tonnes per cubic kilometre (I think) (someone please check my maths) it would occupy about 320 cubic kilometres. That’s ignoring pressurising, freezing and containment equipment. Another way of looking at it is as a block one kilometre high by 32 kilometres long by 10 wide, and that’s still just for 1 ppm. Yet another way to look at it is Rhode Island covered by 61 metres of dry ice!
    I could be wrong on the numbers, but I think I’m close on the order of magnitude.

  55. My comments to the e-mail address keep getting returned as undeliverable – is anyone else having this problem?

  56. Just as a follow-up on my post above, by way of comparison, the entire human race alive today occupies about 3.1 cubic kilometres. Really! (not comfortably, perhaps, but not actually compressed)

  57. DAV,
    You certainly need to brush up on constitutional law. Congress wrote the first laws concerning the Clean Air Act and the formation of the EPA. The EPA gets its legal powers to regulate pollutants from Congress, and its adminstrative organiaztion from The President. The Courts have no jurisdiction in the case of what the EPA should regulate. That is the resonsibility of Congress. Since CO2 is not poisonous, nor does it “pollute”, the EPA is under no obligation to regulate as such until Congress rewrites the law and the President signs it. The Courts certainly cannot force the EPA to regulate CO2, as the law neither mentions it nor does the law even come close to classifying CO2 as such. So, in this case the Courts are certainly legislating. If the President had more guts, he would instruct the EPA Dir. to ignore the Court’s ruling. If Congress has a problem with this, the President could simply instruct Congress to rewrite the law- something Congress is loathe to do, especially during an election year. Until that happens, the EPA can simply ignore the SCOTUS ruling.

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