Obama SG urges tossing CO2 ruling, greens howl

The New York Times

Obama Admin Urges Supreme Court to Vacate Greenhouse Gas ‘Nuisance’ Ruling

By GABRIEL NELSON of Greenwire

The Obama administration has urged the Supreme Court to toss out an appeals court decision that would allow lawsuits against major emitters for their contributions to global warming, stunning environmentalists who see the case as a powerful prod on climate change.

In the case, AEP v. Connecticut, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with a coalition of states, environmental groups and New York City. The decision, handed down last year, said they could proceed with a lawsuit that seeks to force several of the nation’s largest coal-fired utilities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The defendants — American Electric Power Co. Inc., Duke Energy Corp., Southern Co. and Xcel Energy Inc. — filed a petition for review with the Supreme Court earlier this month, asking the court to reject the argument that greenhouse gas emissions can be addressed through “public nuisance” lawsuits (Greenwire, Aug. 4).

In a brief (pdf) filed yesterday on behalf of the Tennessee Valley Authority, acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal agreed with the defendants, saying that U.S. EPA’s newly finalized regulations on greenhouse gases have displaced that type of common-law claim.

Katyal urged the court to vacate the decision and remand the case to the 2nd Circuit for further proceedings, this time taking into account the administration’s push to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

The 2nd Circuit’s decision rested on the assertion that “EPA does not currently regulate carbon dioxide,” but that has since changed. The Obama administration has finalized several regulations in response to the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, which told the agency to decide whether greenhouse gases were pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

Matt Pawa, an attorney representing plaintiffs in the case, said he and his colleagues expected the White House to stay out of the matter. During a meeting with more than 30 administration lawyers at the solicitor general’s office on June 24, it seemed they had “a lot of friends in the room,” he said.

“We feel stabbed in the back,” Pawa said. “This was really a dastardly move by an administration that said it was a friend of the environment. With friends like this, who needs enemies?”

Top attorneys at environmental advocacy groups are buzzing about the brief, sources say. Some feel betrayed by a White House that has generally been more amenable to environmental regulation than its predecessor.

“This reads as if it were cut and pasted from the Bush administration’s briefing in Massachusetts,” said David Bookbinder, who served as the Sierra Club’s chief climate counsel until his resignation in May.

read the entire story here at the NYT

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89 thoughts on “Obama SG urges tossing CO2 ruling, greens howl

  1. No big deal. The Obama Solicitor General is basically telling the greenies to chill — they’ve got industry on the ground and coming under their boot; don’t kick ’em while they’re down.

  2. If they managed to push this lawsuit through, they could go after other big CO2 emitters – including the US military and other government branches with large vehicle fleets. Maybe someone in the administration realized the liability issues?

  3. “The decision, handed down last year, said they could proceed with a lawsuit that seeks to force several of the nation’s largest coal-fired utilities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.”
    I know how they can do it.
    Shut down at the beginning of December and re-open at the beginning of March.

  4. I believe Obama can feel the chill breath of the mid term elections spectre on the back of his hypocritical brass neck…

  5. This is the key statement: “U.S. EPA’s newly finalized regulations on greenhouse gases have displaced that type of common-law claim.”
    No sense muddying up the EPA’s waters with complicating legal claims. This is happening even faster than I had predicted.
    Watch for the Clean Water Act to be an important element in this, as the EPA is presently gathering extensive data on ocean acidification from carbon dioxide….that is the “hazard” that they will be claiming, not temperature/warming by itself.

  6. Getting too close to November.
    They decided they might need those racist, bigoted, phobic votes after all…..
    Won’t matter, older people vote, and older people don’t forget.
    No one will forget what they tried to do, the reasons, and won’t doubt for one minute that they will try it again if they have the chance.

  7. If they sue them into bankruptcy, then the administration can’t tax them into raising the cost of energy.

  8. Not sure what to think of this . Anything that would stop these sorts of lawsuits is good , but where will it lead , especially in light of a number of states challenging the EPA’s co2 ruling . One set of legal thinkers claim (correctly , I believe) that the Epa can’t regulate greenhouse gasses under the current Clean Air Act , at least not without a congressional rewrite of the law . I see this whole business being tied up in Federal courts for years . It might even be that that’s what the administration wants – it allows them to wash their hands of an issue that is proving to be a political nightmare without actually having to drop it officially . Of course , this might be wishful thinking on my part .

  9. Actually the EPA will avert facing court. If the EPA is sued, they will go into a corner and be forced under oath to prove CO2 is dangerous. Then they will Get crucified for taxing and fining unfairly. Can you imagine a judge watching Lisa jackson squirm when the topic of forced error in temp records is the reason we have modest warming. The EPA is sloppy and takes outside literature as if it is internal science. If they admit they get IPCC propoganda that is sloppy and flimsey, it will be a huge problem

  10. My guess is that the administration does not want to risk a raft of court decisions in favour of the “polluters” based on the plaintiffs being unable to supply credible proof that CO2 emissions cause any harm whatsoever. Think carefully about who might find himself under subpoena if, say, Duke Energy were to mount a serious defence against a suit alleging that its CO2 emissions were a material cause of Hurricane Katrina or sea level rises in general or diminished fisheries due to ocean acidification or any of the other hypothetical “damages” from time to time ascribed to CO2 increases.

  11. This is a move to preserve jobs. This is just more proof that money talks. It is good to see proof positive that Obama’s administration isn’t 100% idealistic.

  12. Now all we have to worry about is a lame duck enviro-power grab.
    Can’t tax the energy, cut it off. Can’t steal the profits, sue. These environmental cases are dangerous.

  13. If there is a common law right to persue such suits,
    and Joe Citizen (aka a “person”) has standing to bring
    suits for alleged damages, then whatever EPA rules and regs
    get issued may have less impact than they might have with no
    defined common law rights recognized by the court system.
    The Obama administration controls the activities of
    the EPA. They don’t have a lot of control over the courts, especially
    if a jury is involved in guilt, damage, and penalty decisions not made
    under Clean Air Act limitations.
    It is a slap in the face to environmental groups hoping for a big
    stick to whack industry… the EPA, and it’s approach to greenhouse
    gas emissions is subject to the political winds swirling around the
    White House and Congress. The court system is less susceptible
    to voter input.
    The environmental organization lawyers don’t seem to like
    being limited to on venue… the EPA.

  14. Trying not to be too cynicial here, but it seems to me that a court case of this type could throw the cold hard light of reality on the “science” of warming. Not a good thing for the administration, I would imagine…

  15. See you in court. This is like Obamascare in that now they are beginning to see costs and unintended consequences. If a court has a case, the EPA can be found to NOT have the authority to tax energy or legislate laws for industry. The IRS also still can’t levy taxes and write it’s own legislation.

  16. Once you allow for environmental lawsuits based on public nuisance, any “polluter” of any size can be sued for any (probable) pollutant of any quantity perceived to be leaving their property. Currently in California if a fire leaves your property, regardless of how it arrived there (the neighbors for example), you are guilty of trespass by the fire. This is a new federal legal tactic. Put these two legal ideas together and everyone who has property is threatened. Both legals tactics assume guilt (because something obviously left your property and it is known to cause damage somewhere), so you must prove your innocence.

  17. My understanding of Tort law in the UK from my career in insurance says that you can only sue if you can prove that you have suffered damages. I don’t know about the US but I think their law has an English Law origin.
    How can anybody prove that they have suffered damages because of something that hasn’t happened, something that indeed has the potential to provide benefits if it ever does happen?
    Even even the most rabid of alarmists follow the Nostradamus line and generally talk about future threats, not about things that have already happened.

  18. gcb says:
    August 26, 2010 at 12:14 pm
    If they managed to push this lawsuit through, they could go after other big CO2 emitters – including the US military and other government branches with large vehicle fleets. Maybe someone in the administration realized the liability issues?

    Maybe the Government does not want any lawsuits over all the hot air expelled by the folks on Capitol Hill.

  19. OK, thats about the 100th really good call BHO has made. He makes good calls now and then. About those other 900 though…

  20. It’s odd that there’s nothing posted about this on Real Climate – matter of fact, there doesn’t seem to be many posts of late.

  21. Allowing lawsuits to fly would be extremely injurious to public health:
    If they do the temporary injunction route as they do to salvage logging, the result will be blackouts in the dead of winter.
    Clear and present danger.

  22. These suits are the ecofringe’s holy grail. Sue utilities, force them to shut down. Create a crisis to the point that the federal government has to come in and nationalize the power grid. A watermelon’s wet dream.

  23. Another sign that mr obama wishes to outmanoeuver the us legal system . As a lawyer he must see the consequences of loosing a case . The science behind global warming is apparently not that robust and a growing part of the population is developing a better insight in the warmist propaganda . So why trust a judge if you can have it all the burocratic way ? It is smart to discipline your supporters when the real objective is to silence your ennemies . Or am I too prejudiced here ?

  24. A really cold winter and spring, with lots of Arctic ice, may do more “good” than all this lawsuit stuff – which does however, IMHO, have the merit of stopping things while we see if we are in for a cold period. Funny how lawyers aren’t often poor!
    Wet and cold August in the UK, but its only weather…. of course

  25. Ref – UK Sceptic says:
    August 26, 2010 at 12:18 pm
    “I believe Obama can feel the chill breath of the mid term elections spectre on the back of his hypocritical brass neck…”
    ____________________________
    Me thinks thee give credit for nerves
    And feelings where none reside,
    Much as a rose, is a rose, is a rose…
    A hypocrite, is a hypocrite, is a hypocrite,
    Regardless of what type of neck he hath.
    He who would destroy all
    Will not be swayed.
    Where weaker men would hesitate, or stop,
    He sees only opportunity and will not.
    Voter beware! Voter beware, I say!
    Life is dangerous to fools without brains
    Who vote for those without hearts.

  26. When I saw the title “Obama SG…” I thought that may have been the Surgeon General, and hoped that meant someone smart enough to understand biology had finally stepped up and denounced the “CO2 = pollution” nonsense.
    The records remains unbroken since Inauguration Day 2009: all my hopes for signs of sanity from the Obama administration dashed, still no statistically significant indications of intelligence from this White House.

  27. All this action does is try to legitimize the EPA greenhouse gas ruling. What would happened – if during these trials – contrary evidence from the defense was publicized? I think they would rather not risk the exposure and will settle for legislation through the EPA.

  28. Obamassiah has made a serious mistake . . . the greenie-weenies will go hyper ballistic, they’ll be Mach 1 before they clear the tower. Barry has just chopped up another one of his dwindling support legs.
    Let the games begin . . .

  29. R.S.Brown says:
    August 26, 2010 at 12:48 pm
    “If there is a common law right to persue such suits,
    and Joe Citizen (aka a “person”) has standing to bring
    suits for alleged damages, then whatever EPA rules and regs
    get issued may have less impact than they might have with no
    defined common law rights recognized by the court system.”
    Common Law allows me to sue anyone for some perceived damage to me.
    I.E. You allow you lawn to grow too tall, rodents infest your lawn and end up infesting my property as a result. You have created a nuisance for me, so I can sue you to cut your grass.
    Eventually everyone is suing everyone over mowing the grass, if I get sued because my grass was 4″ high then I’ll sue my neighbors who grass is 3″ high.
    Eventually, folks just get fed up with all the lawsuits and the municipality sets a standard, anything less then 8″ high is not considered to be a nuisance.
    The plaintiffs in this case are attempting to force the administration to set a standard, because a precedent where anyone who emits CO2 can be sued for emitting CO2 becomes a legal nightmare. Only an insane person would want the precedent to stand, since everyone would be liable.

  30. This is the second time Barry O has tried to shelter small businesses from the EPA. Around September ’09 is when the EPA made the endangerment finding and tailored the 250 ton limit to 25,000 tons so that only large CO2 emitters would exceed the limit.
    http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital/2009/09/01/fallout-shelter-team-obama-seeks-to-limit-reach-of-co2-ruling/
    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/an_epa_power_grab_GwJGiZdvLuVLgKVygMZ8oL

  31. It only underscores the need for a decisive change in Congress- one that dan end the Obamanation, and stand up to the run away bureacuracies being driven to madness by extremists.

  32. latitude says:
    August 26, 2010 at 12:28 pm
    Getting too close to November.
    ========================
    Right!
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  33. North Carolina sued TVA for polluting it’s air with real pollutants that actually cause damage and are harmfull to health. They lost. Maybe the administration realizes that IPCC reports are not legal proof that CO2 is even a nuisance, and if tried in state courts before EPA regulations are enforced at the federal level, their house of cards would fall.

  34. It might be useful to review the proposed Final Rule from the EPA ( for those interested in the legalese ) http://www.epa.gov/nsr/documents/20100413final.pdf .
    I suspect that there are a sufficient number of obscure justifications that the EPA and the greenies will drag out of it to make their case one way or another. The only real solution is to unseat this administration and terminate the EPA’s authority to tailor Congressional laws.

  35. The EPA is getting sued by everyone; States, the U.S. Chamber, and Industry. This CO2 stupidity is costing taxpayers a fortune.
    The EPA carbon policy is infringing on States like Texas have already have a permit policy in place and is an attempt to implement a policy that has not been properly vetted by the States (timeframe usually takes 2 years which also allows the states time to comply).
    If the Eco-Zealots want to sue Industry, they should do it on their own and the EPA should follow the law.

  36. frederik wisse says:
    August 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm
    “So why trust a judge if you can have it all the bureaucratic way ? It is smart to discipline your supporters when the real objective is to silence your enemies . ”
    Precisely! The courts act with an aim toward “leveling the scales” in as fair and impartial a manner possible under the law. This administration seeks to punish with prejudice in whatever fashion it pleases.

  37. The last thing the greenies or the politicians want to see is CO2 be evaluated as anything except a gas, in a court of law. The rules of evidence are far to strict to allow foolishness and ideology to pay a major part.

  38. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
    August 26, 2010 at 12:22 pm
    This is the key statement: “U.S. EPA’s newly finalized regulations on greenhouse gases have displaced that type of common-law claim.”
    No sense muddying up the EPA’s waters with complicating legal claims. This is happening even faster than I had predicted.
    ————————–
    The word ‘prediction’ gets a lot of abuse.
    To draw a distinction between what is happening and what is seen to be happening has nothing to do with prophecy. ‘Recognition’ is the appropriate term here.
    Just sane…

  39. Those that ban CO2 should live without CO2–and all the “benefits” accompanying that wonder gas. Force them to go without transportation, food, housing, clothing, staying warm… The list is practically endless.

  40. OT
    I heard the Arctic ice is doing worse than it was in 2007! Oh No!
    Of course, I was listening to KFCF / KPFA Pacifica Radio, which I lovingly call Communist Radio. And yes I laughed at the sheer untruthfulness of the claim. Regardless, coupled with the Obama betrayal, there will be more than a few greenies who will not be sleeping well tonight.

  41. If there is a detection of some semblence of a return to sanity in this bulletin; it is lost on me.
    If the Obamites were suggesting the tossing of the Supremes revelation that CO2 is a harmful pollutant that the EPA must regulate, we could shout halelujah; or words to that effect. But it’s not clear to me that that is what’s happening.
    The latest (13 August) edition of SCIENCE has some related revelations; mostly from the alternative energy aspects of the Climate issue; and one might get the feeling that reality is beginning to settle in at that end of the spectrum.
    There also is a one page retrospective on the late Stephen Schneider by one of his associates; Paul R. Erlich, of Population Bomb fame. It’s an interesting piece worth reading disconnected from the heat that sometimes surrounds Schneider.
    But a main emphasis of this issue is the subject of scaling up Alternative Energy, and a post fossil fuels world, starting with a Keynote essay by Richard A. Kerr. The essay is interesting if only for its exclusion of Nuclear energy from any future scenario, although it does have some data on that part of the present energy picture.
    In a section with the innocuous title “Lower density” there’s some eye opening numbers on just what Lower energy density really means. An oil field coal or mine has 5-50 times the power yield (areal density) of a solar plant; or 10-100 times that of a wind farm, and between 100 and 1000 times the areal density of plant biomass. Coal yields 50 times more energy than corn ethanol, even including extraction and transport costs, and oil is 13 times more productive than corn ethanol.
    Well I’m not going to rehash the whole issue here; but the series of papers on related issues; give some idea that reality may be coming down to earth. Some of that reality could also strike the CO2 induced climate change reason behind bio-fuels.
    Think about it; does human produced and emitted carbon dioxide persist in the atmosphere for 200 years like the tell us it does ?
    If that is true; and I do mean if; then clearly bio-fuels have no carbon recycling benefit; since we would slam into the tipping point wall, long before the CO2 emitted from burning bio-fuels ever gets recycled.
    So which is it AGW fans; is human emitted CO2 from combustion energy a 200 year persistent and dangerous pollutant; or are solar powered bio-fuels a non polluting bypass of fossil energy; even at 13 or 50 times less energy density ?
    Take your pick !

  42. M White says:
    August 26, 2010 at 12:14 pm
    “I know how they can do it.
    Shut down at the beginning of December and re-open at the beginning of March.”
    Exactly and let the windmills and solar cells take over “and everyone lived happily ever after”
    Or so it goes in fairy tails

  43. It’s becoming very discouraging when places like Science Daily perpetuate mis-characterizations like this, ” CO2…the major greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming”. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100825174102.htm
    CO2 is NOT a major greenhouse gas (not that I really know what that means in any case). It’s a trace gas in the atmosphere and water vapor is the ‘major greenhouse gas in our atmosphere.
    I weary of constantly arguing with my friends about this sort of stuff. In the long run I lose because they get tired of listening to me.
    REPLY: send it to the Union of Concerned Scientists…they want to hear about it. – Anthony

  44. OMFG it’s a they-found-us-out-let’s-git-the-hell-out-of-here, but shows like a proper cameron-tale of let’s annoy the hell out of everyone ’til they want to get to g’there by show of my force and then, well then, ruuun you fools!

  45. Step back and take a breath. I know the folks who drafted the US brief. They had no agenda at all. They simply argued the position the US has taken under every President for the past 50 years. That argument is simply that where Congress has occupied the legal landscape, the common law no longer applies. We have a Clean Air Act and agree with its use or not (and I don’t) where we have rules under the act to control green house gases there is no need for a tort nuisance claim under common law.

  46. @ George E. Smith says:
    August 26, 2010 at 3:42 pm
    George, I belief the Supreme Court ruling was that the EPA had the authority to regulate CO2 under the CAA. Not that they must do so. That opened the door for the EPA and Obama, but it did not shove them thru it. They walked thru on their own.

  47. From: harrywr2 on August 26, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Common Law allows me to sue anyone for some perceived damage to me.
    I.E. You allow you lawn to grow too tall, rodents infest your lawn and end up infesting my property as a result. You have created a nuisance for me, so I can sue you to cut your grass.

    Hey, the outdoor cats are supposed to be taking care of those rodents. Don’t complain if they’re not getting them all, as all those cats were rescues and you should be glad I care enough about strays to take them in.
    Yeah it looks like an abandoned field out there, but so what? I don’t pollute the ground water with fertilizers and weed killers, and I don’t waste fossil fuels by mowing it down until the dust flies at least once a week like the neighbors do. And the tall growth is more plant mass sucking more carbon dioxide out of the air and fighting global warming.
    Why are you persecuting me for caring more about the planet and the life that’s on it than other people?! Now get off my field!

  48. Revenues. The Obama administration requires vast amounts of money in order to facilitate its agenda, and the cap & trade method was the “kinder, gentler” way for the industrial base. Sadly, the Senate didn’t go along.
    OK, now revenues will be generated via EPA enforcement actions (read “fines” and “permit fees”). Here, read all about it:
    http://www.epa.gov/oecaerth/civil/index.html
    The Bush administration was a disaster for EPA Enforcement. The head of Civil Enforcement, Eric Schaeffer, resigned in 2002, in what was known as a severely demoralized blow to the agency. By bringing in Carol Browner and Lisa Jackson, Obama made his path clear from the outset.

  49. harrywr2 says:
    August 26, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Common Law allows me to sue anyone for some perceived damage to me.

    I think I have been damaged because the plants in by garden are not growing as I think they should due to a shortage of CO2. I propose we sue the energy companies for not putting out ENOUGH Carbon Dioxide!
    Any pro bono lawyers out there want to take on this case?

  50. “We feel stabbed in the back,”
    The wortld does not revolve around environmentalists. If they had already known that they would not feel this.

  51. Henry chance says:
    August 26, 2010 at 12:58 pm
    The Sierra club is nearing a meltdown.
    Do not bet good money on that.

  52. If you read the “Brief” listed in Anthony’s post you’ll find the following (note: bolding added for emphasis):
    link: http://www.eenews.net/assets/2010/08/25/document_gw_01.pdf
    QUESTIONS PRESENTED
    “Plaintiffs allege that significant emitters of carbon dioxide in 20 States have created, contributed to, or maintained a common-law public nuisance by contributing to global warming and thus injuring plaintiffs in their capacities as sovereigns or landowners. This brief addresses the following questions:
    1. Whether plaintiffs’ federal common-law nuisance claims are barred by principles of prudential standing.
    2. Whether, assuming plaintiffs have alleged cognizable public-nuisance claims under federal common law, that federal common law has been displaced in this con- text by the Clean Air Act and associated actions of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.”
    STATEMENT (page 3):
    “In addition, Section 111 of the Act authorizes EPA to list categories of stationary sources that “cause[], or contribute[] significantly to, air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.” 42 U.S.C. 7411(b)(1)(A). Once EPA exercises its discretion to list a category of stationary sources, Section 111 directs it to establish federal performance standards for emissions of pollutants specified by EPA from new (or modified) sources in that category. 42 U.S.C. 7411(b)(1)(B). Furthermore, in some circumstances, once EPA has established such new source performance standards (NSPS) for a category of sources, States are required by Section 111(d) to issue performance standards—in accordance with EPA procedures —for existing sources in that category.3″
    “EPA may issue such standards directly if a State does not do so. 42 U.S.C. 7411(d); see also 40 C.F.R. 60.20-60.29 (establishing procedures for adoption of state plans).”
    When you look up (or try to find) information about the regulations, you’ll find some of the following.
    EPA Laws and Regulations — Abstracts for July 2010
    http://www.epa.gov/lawsregs/search/ail.html
    Action to Ensure Authority to Issue Permits Under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration Program to Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Federal Implementation Plan
    “EPA is proposing a federal implementation plan (FIP) to apply in any state that is unable to submit, by its specified deadline, a corrective state implementation plan (SIP) revision to ensure that the state has authority to issue permits under the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review Prevention of Significant Deterioration (“PSD”) program for sources of greenhouse gases (“GHGs”). This proposal is a companion rulemaking to RIN 2060-AQ08 “Action to Ensure Authority to Issue Permits Under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration Program to Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Finding of Substantial Inadequacy and SIP Call,” which is being signed and published on the same schedule; EPA is proposing to make a finding of substantial inadequacy and proposing to issue a SIP call for a number of states on grounds that their SIPs do not apply the PSD program to GHG-emitting sources.”
    see:
    Regulations and Standards [for light and heavy duty vehicles including residential vehicles]
    http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/regulations.htm
    also see:
    Final Rule: Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule
    http://www.epa.gov/nsr/documents/20100413fs.pdf
    The final rule addresses emissions of a group of six GHGs:
    1. Carbon dioxide (CO2)
    2. Methane (CH4)
    3. Nitrous oxide (N2O)
    4. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
    5. Perfluorocarbons(PFCs)
    6. Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)
    Some of these GHGs have a higher global warming potential than others. To address these differences, the international standard practice is to express GHGs in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). Emissions of gases other than CO2 are translated into CO2e by using the gases’ global warming potentials. Under this rule, EPA is using CO2e as the metric for determining whether sources are covered by permitting programs. Total GHG emissions will be calculated by summing the CO2e emissions of all of the six constituent GHGs.
    “Today’s final action and other background information are also available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, EPA’s electronic public docket and comment system. The docket number for this action is Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0517.”
    Note: 19,648 docket folder responses to the EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0517 keyword will be found.
    It’s very strange that the “Brief” listed in Anthony’s post only refers to CO2 and not the other 5 GHDs. But, one way or the other, EPA issued Regulation Abstract in July so complying with this mess isn’t likely to occur in January.
    EPS has also proposed time tables for the various phases of regulation so don’t be fooled into thinking this only effects the largest emissions.
    If they’d just drop CO2 from the list, sponsor programs to capture and use Methane for power generation, and bottle/distribute the N2O, we could all get a good laugh out of this mess.

  53. @gcb
    “If they managed to push this lawsuit through, they could go after other big CO2 emitters”
    Maybe they are afraid someone would sue Gore et al, now there’s a public nuisance.


  54. No, Schaeffer quitting did not deliver a severe demoralizing blow to the agency. We filled his position quickly with a DOJ senior manager and went on with our business. Eric just wanted to make a splash in order to promote his new role as an outside activist. He was hoping to hook up with the next administration but he picked the wrong horse and now no one ever hears from him. Meanwhile, those of us still prosecuting environmental scofflaws continue to do our business.
    D.W. Schnare, Esq. Ph.D.
    You can see where I work without searching too hard . . .

  55. A lot of hopeful analysts above. I have an incredible reserve of respect for the power of the Obama power machine. Nothing seems to dissuade them, no matter what the repulsion. His will be done.

  56. “”” D. W. Schnare says:
    August 26, 2010 at 4:09 pm
    Step back and take a breath. I know the folks who drafted the US brief. They had no agenda at all. They simply argued the position the US has taken under every President for the past 50 years. That argument is simply that where Congress has occupied the legal landscape, the common law no longer applies. We have a Clean Air Act and agree with its use or not (and I don’t) where we have rules under the act to control green house gases there is no need for a tort nuisance claim under common law. “””
    Then you would be the perfect person to tell these fools that they had better include H2O in their list of noxious GHG nuisance gases; because it can easily be demonstrated that H2O vapor in air enhances the absorption of LWIR radiation and heats the air under such radiation; same as CO2 and those other gases on the list; and humans DO emit as much or even more H2O into the atmosphere as they do CO2.
    So take care of that for us will you please ?

  57. “”” Curiousgeorge says:
    August 26, 2010 at 4:16 pm
    @ George E. Smith says:
    August 26, 2010 at 3:42 pm
    George, I belief the Supreme Court ruling was that the EPA had the authority to regulate CO2 under the CAA. Not that they must do so. That opened the door for the EPA and Obama, but it did not shove them thru it. They walked thru on their own. “””
    Well I know that; but if I am not mistaken; the supremes blew the door off its hinges by declaring that CO2 was a global warming cause.
    Maybe the news media has been mis informing us as to just what the Supremes did or did not decide. Anyone who thinks CO2 is a dangerous pollutant or in anyway hazardous as emitted by human operations; is in my view criminally insane; and needs to be in an asylum.

  58. DWSchnare says:
    August 26, 2010 at 5:24 pm
    No, Schaeffer quitting did not deliver a severe demoralizing blow to the agency. We filled his position quickly with a DOJ senior manager and went on with our business. Eric just wanted to make a splash in order to promote his new role as an outside activist. He was hoping to hook up with the next administration but he picked the wrong horse and now no one ever hears from him. Meanwhile, those of us still prosecuting environmental scofflaws continue to do our business.
    D.W. Schnare, Esq. Ph.D.
    You can see where I work without searching too hard . . .
    ——-
    REPLY: Thank you, Dr. Schnare. Nice meeting you. I have good friends in EPA Region V Enforcement.
    Regarding the effect of Schaeffer’s resignation on the agency, I beg to differ:
    http://www.sustainablefacility.com/Articles/Industry_News/53ba174b30f38010VgnVCM100000f932a8c0____
    Since I don’t work for the USEPA, I only know what I’m told by others. During the Bush years, environmental enforcement seemed to be put into the laps of state and local jurisdictions. We’ve had some real battles in Region V.

  59. Folks, the destruction of the enforcement arm of EPA under Bush was highly exagerrated. In a couple of those years we had the highest civil penalty counts ever, and the largest single penalty in the history of the agency was in that timeframe and was against a coal-fired power plant.
    As for Buckheit, he left because it was to his own advantage. He had time and grade and wanted to sail his boat. As for Rich Biondi, he simply got to a point where he could afford to retire and he did. He had been sidelined into an administrative (associate director) position. He, like many of us, would like to have been in charge. That wasn’t going to happen so he headed home. Last time I saw him he was in the best of spirits and didn’t miss the job whatever, although I think he misses some of the staff with whom he worked for so many years.
    As to the “study” to which CRS D.Ph cited, the PEER study was a joke. It reflected volunteer responses and the tiny few who did respond were the same bunch of left-handed wingnuts that always rise to such bait. (And don’t think we don’t have right-handed wingnuts too. After all, this is the government.)
    As for me giving input on the endangerment finding, I have recused myself from that issue. That is a formal, legal step that keeps me away from the effort. I did so because I could not agree with the position of the Agency and I wanted to be able to speak publically on the subject. Soooooooooo, if you want to make EPA view H2O a greenhouse gas subject to regulation, go sue them. I’ll be cheering from the sidelines.
    DWS

  60. “Anyone who thinks CO2 is a dangerous pollutant or in anyway hazardous as emitted by human operations; is in my view criminally insane; and needs to be in an asylum.”
    I have no sarcastic remark to lay at the foot of this mighty truth.

  61. Chris in Ga says:
    August 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm
    All this action does is try to legitimize the EPA greenhouse gas ruling. What would happened – if during these trials – contrary evidence from the defense was publicized? I think they would rather not risk the exposure and will settle for legislation through the EPA.
    Yep, and look for the EPA to justify the CO2 pollution through mean other then the IPCC

  62. I think the guy/gal who released the climategate emails did the world a tremendous favor and it is showing everywhere….

  63. “The Obama administration has urged the Supreme Court to toss out an appeals court decision that would allow lawsuits against major emitters for their contributions to global warming, stunning environmentalists who see the case as a powerful prod on climate change.”
    ================
    Rather ironic, that the environmentalists get stunned by the same prod they intended to use.
    Talk about a climate change.
    We, on the dark side, are also environmentalists.
    Yet, proceed from caution.

  64. rbateman says:
    August 26, 2010 at 1:11 pm
    Allowing lawsuits to fly would be extremely injurious to public health:
    If they do the temporary injunction route as they do to salvage logging, the result will be blackouts in the dead of winter.
    Clear and present danger.

    I like your comments. Except sometimes they are cryptic. What does this one mean?

  65. It occurs to me that the administration no longer wishes to cripple the economy by cutting it in half.
    He now wishes to limit the damage by merely cutting its head off.

  66. Dr. Schnare, thanks for the tip, I just scanned through your document:
    Testimony Before the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Washington, D.C. Wednesday, September 26, 2007
    “Responses to Climate Change and their Implications on Preservation and Restoration of the Chesapeake Bay”
    —–
    I’m glad you had the chance to meet Sen. Inhofe, I’ve known him since his first campaign for Congress (1st District, Tulsa OK).
    You come out very strong for geoengineering!! I can’t agree with you less. Cheers.

  67. “The Obama administration has urged the Supreme Court to toss out an appeals court decision that would allow lawsuits against major emitters for their contributions to global warming, stunning environmentalists who see the case as a powerful prod on climate change.”
    The Obama regime want the energy companies taxed until the pips squeak so to speak, this means the price of energy must rise sharply, very sharply. If the energy companies are forced to go to court then their lawyers will be forced to open the real books on AGW, every tiny detail and every temperature record,every political connection and every record of connivance between the political establishment and the green/eco establishment and a corrupted media using shadowy groups like the NUJ/SEJ/UCS and journolist.
    The lavish funding of pro AGW organisations will be examined and the the emails/written records will be trawled through, its one giant can of worms folks and the last thing that the political establishment needs is a court case exposing all the dirty little secrets/back stairs deals/corruption/dodgy science with the green establishment in court forced to explain the many secrets they hold.
    The AGW circus was a fake construct with foundations built on the softest of sands, a rickety Jerry built house of cards relying on a fake fabricated consensus, any examination in detail will cause the entire edifice to collapse and viewed by the ordinary people who have been lied to for so long, we would find out the whys and wherefores of AGW, the skeletons in the closet would come tumbling out.
    Of course we know the cultist wing of the AGW fraud are too stupid to see past their Luddite desire to see us back in a Constable painting but the truly wicked elements that have been pulling the strings know all too well that shining a light on the dark corners would reveal the real puppeteers in this tragicomedy farce.

  68. Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense…The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning.
    “What failed at Copenhagen was not just the summit. A notion of establishing the UN as a sort of world government through the use of climate politics — using far-reaching management methods to influence, first of all, the world’s economy — has also failed.”
    (Die Welt -german news paper -Refering to EU President )
    No Thanks.

  69. Archaeological remains of a lost city have been discovered 120 feet underwater in the Gulf of Cambay off the western coast of India. And carbon dating says that they are 9,500 years old. I am sure people in India back then were not driving SUVs or polluting the landmass with use of dirty fuel to cause the sea level to rise and sink their city. So this AGW fraud is just that a fraud. Climate changes by itself you cannot do anything to prevent it. More importantly I will not waste my money towards any effort to prevent climate change. I would use it to adapt to any change that may occur, if it occurs and when it occurs . So no money from me towards aiding and abetting carbon racketeering also known as cap n trade.

  70. M White says:
    August 26, 2010 at 12:14 pm
    “I know how they can do it.
    Shut down at the beginning of December and re-open at the beginning of March.”
    Sadly, logic evades the average greenie, so this would make perfect sense to him or her.
    I seriously wonder if the average American realises that the EPA nonsense and much of Obamaspeak is telling the world only one thing: the USA is not a good place in which to invest. Very simply, that means fewer jobs created and more exported.

  71. The Obama administration has urged the Supreme Court to toss out an appeals court decision that would allow lawsuits against major emitters for their contributions to global warming, stunning environmentalists who see the case as a powerful prod on climate change.
    make a sh**load of money suing us.

  72. Another article caught my eye in that rag.
    http://www.eenews.net/public/Greenwire/2010/08/23/1
    U.S. EPA won’t meet its goal of releasing new nationwide standards for ground-level ozone this month, the agency told a federal court Friday.
    The current political climate would make it “convenient” for EPA to release the standards after November’s midterm election, said Howard Feldman, director of regulatory and scientific affairs at the American Petroleum Institute.
    “Given the absence of new or different scientific data, EPA should maintain the current ozone standards,” the letter said. “Moving to change the standard again, outside of the Clean Air Act’s normal five-year review process, as local communities are struggling to meet the existing standard, would be unfair and unwise
    End
    It doesn’t look good if they are deliberately delaying it.

  73. The EPA and the Executive branch are staking out there turf… and no one else will be allowed to play there.
    So the greenies get whacked… not suprising, – there was no way that the government was going to tolerate other feeders at the trough.
    For the rest of us, we just got out of the frying pan and are now about to meet the fire.

  74. Well said, u.k.(us). The lunatic fringe are giving life-long environmentalists, who are also sceptical of media hype, a bad name. Time they were stopped.
    u.k.(us) says:
    August 26, 2010 at 7:53 pm
    “The Obama administration has urged the Supreme Court to toss out an appeals court decision that would allow lawsuits against major emitters for their contributions to global warming, stunning environmentalists who see the case as a powerful prod on climate change.”
    ================
    Rather ironic, that the environmentalists get stunned by the same prod they intended to use.
    Talk about a climate change.
    We, on the dark side, are also environmentalists.
    Yet, proceed from caution.

  75. Soooo….What happens if the lawsuit is allowed through?
    This is not the World courts and have no bearing on entitlements in other countries. Mind you, Canada could sue the U.S. for allowing the pollutants over the boarders when there is a south wind.
    Oil taps could be shut off to the U.S. if lawsuits are going to be the norm for anyone shipping “pollutant materials”.

  76. Ever hear of the sucker punch, Clinton was a master at it. When people complain too much back off , the opposition relaxes then do it. It could be the election or its a distraction or both.

  77. Djozar says:
    August 26, 2010 at 1:09 pm
    It’s odd that there’s nothing posted about this on Real Climate – matter of fact, there doesn’t seem to be many posts of late.

    ————–
    Djozar,
    Maybe NASA’s yearly human resource review process could explain it. My opinion is there has to be some dissatisfaction higher up in NASA’s management regarding the non-professional activities and product deficiencies of some of the GISS boys and girls.
    I would not be surprised at some people moving on and more publically skeptical scientists/administrators replacing them.
    John

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