The D.C. Court of Appeals ruling throwing out an omnibus petition against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) first tranche of carbon dioxide restrictions rested largely on the Court’s decision that EPA’s "Endangerment Finding" from related global warming stands as is. In particular, it noted that the petitioners’ argument that "uncertainty" about climate change was not sufficient grounds to void the finding.
Indeed, "uncertainty" is thin ice if EPA is in the business of saving us from almost-certain doom. A better argument would have been a direct assault on the ‘finding’s science, or rather, selective science.
But this is beyond the capabilities of most litigators, who simply aren’t trained to wade through the enormous technical literature on global warming and its effects. That’s about to change.
The next battle with EPA is likely to come over their proposed regulation that would essentially outlaw coal-fired electrical generation. Here at the Cato Institute, we are preparing the definitive answer to its Endangerment Finding.
With regard to climate change impacts in the U.S., the finding relies primarily on one document, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. It was produced by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), a mélange of agencies all dependent upon climate change dollars. This document is about as inclusive as one would expect it to be—i.e. it avoids a massive amount of inconvenient science. You can find it here.
Since April 2011, along with several colleagues around the country, I have been working on the scientific counter to the USGCRP document. It looks like it, section by section. It flows exactly like it. It has more references and notes—almost twice as many—as the USGCRP document. As in the adage, "you can take it to court."
While it’s not yet in final copy, the latest draft is sufficient to give you the idea: this is the document to take down the Endangerment Finding. You can download it here.
We expect this document is going to figure heavily in the next round in the fight to prevent EPA from imposing scientifically senseless but economically disastrous restrictions on energy use.
—Patrick J. Michaels is a senior fellow in Environmental Studies at the Cato Institute. This commentary appeared on his blog and is reprinted with permission.