Global Warming Put to Trial - Part 2
Texas GOP Vote recently blogged about the Chamber of Commerce vs. EPA action over global warming. We have heard the left-wing environmentalists' complaint that the Chamber's is attempting to "sow political discord by challenging settled science." However, the Chamber is not challenging the science in its action against the EPA!
What the Chamber is challenging is the EPA's tenuous rule-making process and lack of transparency in connection with its finding of endangerment to U.S. public health and welfare from carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions:
"...the informal rulemaking process has broken down here. The process to date has not been open and transparent, nor has it been conducted with scientific integrity, free from politics, ideology, and ex parte consultations. That is why the U.S. Chamber is asking for a formal on-the-record hearing: to bring into the open the reasoning behind this finding..."
Now let's have a look at what the Chamber is actually saying and let's also start giving some thought to how these politicized actions and speculations will undercut the U.S. economy and competitiveness! Following is the response from William L. Kovacs, the senior vice president for the Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs Division at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, when asked, "Should the Environmental Protection Agency be required to publicly defend its finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare?"
Before responding to the National Journal’s question, let me clarify a few things. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is not denying or otherwise challenging the science behind global climate change. Many of the news articles on our petition the past few days made that claim. They are not correct. The anti-business lobby quickly jumped on these news articles without actually reading the substance of the Chamber’s petition, casting us as climate "deniers." That is certainly unfortunate, but not unexpected. For many of these special interest groups, dogma trumps facts, and they’ve been calling us deniers for years, even though the Chamber supports sensible and ambitious congressional and international action on global climate change.
...With that said, what the Chamber is doing is requesting that EPA conduct a formal on-the-record hearing on the evidence underlying its finding of endangerment. EPA wants to use the Clean Air Act to regulate CO2 emissions from cars. Before it can do this, EPA must first find, as a matter of law, that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles endanger U.S. public health and welfare. Because EPA has proposed that man-made greenhouse gas emissions cause or contribute to rising global temperatures, to make the endangerment finding EPA must now establish that the rising temperatures threaten public health and welfare—that is their burden of proof. EPA is, by all accounts, on the verge of answering this question in the affirmative. We don’t think the evidence EPA set forth meets the legal criteria to support such a finding, and we think a judge would agree with us.
Normally, such issues could be worked out through an ordinary informal rulemaking process (i.e., notice and comment). However, this rulemaking has been anything but ordinary.
First, the proposed endangerment finding acknowledges that the Administrator’s decision must be based on sound science, not speculation. Then it proceeds to run through a laundry-list of “uncertainties” that not only undermine its finding but also that the Administrator simply plans to ignore.
...The facts listed above, when considered in their entirety, point to an inescapable conclusion: the informal rulemaking process has broken down here. The process to date has not been open and transparent, nor has it been conducted with scientific integrity, free from politics, ideology, and ex parte consultations. That is why the U.S. Chamber is asking for a formal on-the-record hearing: to bring into the open the reasoning behind this finding...