Fox News finally does a good news report:

The Obama administration is warning Congress that if it doesn’t move to regulate greenhouse gases, the Environmental Protection Agency will take a “command-and-control” role over the process in a way that could hurt business.

“This is not an ‘either-or’ moment. It’s a ‘both-and’ moment,” she said. “If you don’t pass this legislation, then … the EPA is going to have to regulate in this area,” the official said. “And it is not going to be able to regulate on a market-based way, so it’s going to have to regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty.” “So, passing the right kind of legislation with the right kind of compensations seems to us to be the best way to reduce uncertainty and actually to encourage investment,” the official said.

What EPA means is that if Congress doesn’t pass the cap-and-trade bill, they will just make CO2 a pollutant and regulate it that way. It’s ridiculous.




  1. Guyver says:

    Wow! More people disapprove of Obama than those who approve of him on the most recent CNN poll: http://tinyurl.com/khp5v

  2. The0ne says:

    The Deep Carbon Observatory was looking good until this had to happen. Too bad for them :/ I was actually very interested in this too.

    http://www.gl.ciw.edu/deep_carbon_project

    Damn CO2!

  3. Mr. Fusion says:

    #29, Smith,

    Not quite. The Court rejected all of the EPA’s arguments. The court unequivocally stated that the EPA MUST take action unless it can demonstrate that CO2 is not a pollutant. Here are some excerpts from the ruling.

    Causation
    EPA does not dispute the existence of a causal connection between man-made greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. At a minimum, therefore, EPA’s refusal to regulate such emissions “contributes” to Massachusetts’ injuries.


    The Remedy
    While it may be true that regulating motor-vehicle emissions will not by itself reverse global warming, it by no means follows that we lack jurisdiction to decide whether EPA has a duty to take steps to slow or reduce it.

    and to EPA’s ardent support for various voluntary emission-reduction programs, 68 Fed. Reg. 52932. As Judge Tatel observed in dissent below, “EPA would presumably not bother with such efforts if it thought emissions reductions would have no discernible impact on future global warming.”

    On the merits, the first question is whether §202(a)(1) of the Clean Air Act authorizes EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles in the event that it forms a “judgment” that such emissions contribute to climate change. We have little trouble concluding that it does. In relevant part, §202(a)(1) provides that EPA “shall by regulation prescribe . . . standards applicable to the emission of any air pollutant from any class or classes of new motor vehicles or new motor vehicle engines, which in [the Administrator’s] judgment cause, or contribute to, air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.” …

    Because EPA believes that Congress did not intend it to regulate substances that contribute to climate change, the agency maintains that carbon dioxide is not an “air pollutant” within the meaning of the provision.
    The statutory text forecloses EPA’s reading. The Clean Air Act’s sweeping definition of “air pollutant” includes “any air pollution agent or combination of such agents, including any physical, chemical . . . substance or matter which is emitted into or otherwise enters the ambient air . . . .” §7602(g) (emphasis added). On its face, the definition embraces all airborne compounds of whatever stripe, and underscores that intent through the repeated use of the word “any.”25 Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbons are without a doubt “physical [and] chemical . . . substance[s] which [are] emitted into . . . the ambient air.” The statute is unambiguous.26
    Rather than relying on statutory text, EPA invokes post enactment congressional actions and deliberations it views as tantamount to a congressional command to refrain from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. Even if such post enactment legislative history could shed light on the meaning of an otherwise-unambiguous statute, EPA never identifies any action remotely suggesting that Congress meant to curtail its power to treat greenhouse gases as air pollutants.

    The alternative basis for EPA’s decision—that even if it does have statutory authority to regulate greenhouse gases, it would be unwise to do so at this time—rests on reasoning divorced from the statutory text. While the statute does condition the exercise of EPA’s authority omits formation of a “judgment,” 42 U. S. C. §7521(a)(1), that judgment must relate to whether an air pollutant“cause[s], or contribute[s] to, air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare,” ibid. Put another way, the use of the word “judgment” is not a roving license to ignore the statutory text. It is but a direction to exercise discretion within defined statutory limits.

    Under the clear terms of the Clean Air Act, EPA can avoid taking further action only if it determines that greenhouse gases do not contribute to climate change or if it provides some reasonable explanation as to why it cannot or will not exercise its discretion to determine whether they do.

    Part Two of your post is also very wrong. The EPA may only be challenged on very narrow grounds. Any petitioner would have to demonstrate that the EPA has exceeded the jurisdiction of the Clean Air Act. Since the Supreme Court has already ruled the EPA must regulate CO2 as a pollutant, no court will allow challenges on that part.

    The only way the EPA can be challenged otherwise would be if they decided CO2 is NOT a greenhouse gas. And that isn’t likely to happen, they already conceded that point to the Supreme Court. Courts like to hear evidence, they don’t like factitious challenges that are based upon garbage science.

    So this will not end up being dragged out in the courts.

  4. Sea Lawyer says:

    “Congress either MUST write new regulations or the EPA must write them.”

    lol, so the Supreme Court is in the business now of compelling the Congress to write legislation is wants?

    As dumb and conFused as always.

  5. RSweeney says:

    Surely higher taxes, higher costs, and more regulations will improve the economy.

    Any of you Democrats feeling even a little bit guilty yet?

    Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

    Or is it still all BOOOSSHHHH to you?

  6. Greg Allen says:

    God forbid a government agency should actually do what we pay it to do!

    Protect the environment? THAT’S OUTRAGEOUS! The EPA was set up to run interference for multinational corporations. Everybody knows that!

  7. Greg Allen says:

    >> matt said, on December 9th, 2009 at 9:02 am
    >> gosh. i love living in soviet russia.
    >> so if CO2 is a pollutant, then what will happen when i exhale? oops, broke the law. sorry, i just exhaled. dang. i did it again.

    Did you fail BOTH sixth grade history AND science?

    Try this little test: but a plastic bag on your head and then see if too much CO2 is a problem.

    Oh, perhaps you’ve already tried that experiment… I don’t see how anyone with a normal amount of brain cells could equate the EPA with the KGB.

  8. Greg Allen says:

    Sorry Matt — I realized I came across too harsh in my post above.

    But c’mon you have to admit that confusing the EPA with the horrific, genocidal soviet repression which murdered tens of millions of people is stupid beyond belief.

  9. Smith says:

    #35 Fusion — Wrong again.

    “We need not and do not reach the question whether on remand EPA must make an endangerment finding, or whether policy con-cerns can inform EPA’s actions in the event that it makes such a finding. Cf. Chevron U. S. A. Inc. v. Natural Re-sources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U. S. 837, 843–844 (1984). We hold only that EPA must ground its reasons for action or inaction in the statute.” (emphasis mine)

    And how odd that you believe the Court’s opinion limits a petitioner to very narrow grounds. Every decision that EPA makes, from its endargement finding onward, can be challenged in court — including the very basis for linking CO2 to climate change.

  10. brm says:

    #38:

    “The EPA was set up to run interference for multinational corporations. Everybody knows that!”

    So the multi-nationals go play ball elsewhere, and the EPA is left to screw up our economy. Great.

  11. JimR says:

    Carbon dioxide levels would have to increase 350% from base to be barely noticeable, but still without any health effects. So far industrialization has increased the base amount by roughly 35% according to the IPCC. We are 1/10 the way there to barely noticing it as far as breathing… or deeming it a poison, is concerned.

    Should we do nothing? Well, surprise, surprise, last time I looked there were hundreds of new initiatives to harness the energy from air, water and sunlight. Instead of crying wolf at every pin drop, why not super-fund those initiatives to fruition? Nah, too much fun issuing dire warnings and extorting carbon money from the hardest and least paid workforce… you know, like blood money.

  12. Toxic Asshead says:

    I was going to say something, but I’m too busy releasing C02. Do it every chance I get.

  13. Toxic Asshead says:

    What the hell is Rosanne Barr doing in the EPA?

  14. John E. Quantum says:

    My father always told me that one day they would figure out a way to tax the air we breathe and by God they’ve finally done it!

  15. deowll says:

    Obama says we are going to grow jobs by spending more money!

    Obama appointee says Congress better put a big tax on energy and limit energy use or we will shut down the economy!

    Some how or other I don’t think jobs is actually a priority with Obama and if I were a black with 55% unemployment I’d want to nail his two faced hide to a wall. With friends like him who needs enemies?

  16. Mr. Fusion says:

    #41, Smith,

    Ignorance is becoming your hallmark. That and selective quotations.

    In short, EPA has offered no reasoned explanation for its refusal to decide whether greenhouse gases cause orcontribute to climate change. Its action was therefore “arbitrary, capricious, . . . or otherwise not in accordance with law.” 42 U. S. C. §7607(d)(9)(A). We need not and do not reach the question whether on remand EPA must make an endangerment finding, or whether policy con-cerns can inform EPA’s actions in the event that it makes such a finding. Cf. Chevron U. S. A. Inc. v. Natural Re-sources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U. S. 837, 843–844 (1984). We hold only that EPA must ground its reasons for action or inaction in the statute.

    Yet, even looking at your highlighted portion says a lot. The EPA MUST follow the statute. They didn’t. The Clean Air Act required them to. (You do understand what a mandamus is?)

    Under the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act the EPA is entrusted to formulate regulations for all pollutants. Outside the hearing process there is little private parties can do. Simply because they won’t have standing to appeal this to a court.

    Since the Supreme Court just told the EPA to write their regulations according to the law (The Clean Air Act) that is what the EPA must do. The only challenge under the CAA would be if someone is unfairly effected or the EPA’s new regulations do not follow the statute.

    Challenges have rarely been upheld by the courts; I am unaware of any. The EPA was over ruled several times for inaction during the Bush Administration, Massachusetts is only one.

    The only alternative to have the EPA not write new regulations is for Congress to write them. Until Congress changes the law, the 1972 CAA is still in effect. Whether or not this is a bad law, it remains the law.

  17. Mr. Fusion says:

    #36, SL,

    lol, so the Supreme Court is in the business now of compelling the Congress to write legislation

    Still don’t understand much beyond your navel.

    The Clean Air Act requires the EPA regulate everything found to be a pollutant. After the EPA declined to write regulations the Supreme Court told them they had to.

    As I just told Smith in #49, the Clean Air Act is still the law and either the EPA writes the regulations or Congress writes a new law. Of course, Congress is under no compulsion to write a new law, in which case the EPA will, as required by the 1970 law.

    Sorry you have a headache trying to understand such a simple thing.

    CORRECTION:

    Above I wrote the Clean Air Act was from 1972. It is actually from 1970.

  18. gooddebate says:

    Here’s the executive summary from the EPA report on CO2 (page 84):

    4.1 Executive Summary

    Page ES-7, new separate paragraph anywhere on the page: Based on the Sections 1.7 and 2 above we suggest adding the following paragraph:
    Despite the IPCC and CCSP reports there is substantial evidence that the factors most closely correlated with temperature changes are the following:
    2. Oceanic climate oscillations, particularly PDO, AMO and ENSO
    3. Solar variability
    4. Carbon Dioxide

    There are a number of inconsistencies between the GHG/CO2/AGW hypothesis and available observed data that make this hypothesis scientifically invalid unless they can be resolved:
    1. Lack of observed upper tropospheric heating in the tropics
    2. Lack of observed constant humidity levels, a very important assumption of all the IPCC models, as CO2 levels have risen.
    3. Satellite data show no appreciable temperature increases during the period 1978-1997, just when the surface station data show a pronounced rise (see Section 2.5). Satellite data after 1998 is also inconsistent with the GHG/CO2/AGW hypothesis
    4. The models used by the IPCC do not take into account or show the most important ocean oscillations which clearly do affect global temperatures, namely, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, and the ENSO. Leaving out any major causes for global warming from the analysis results in the likely misattribution of the effects of these oscillations to the GHGs/CO2 and hence is likely to overstate their importance as a cause for climate change.
    5. The models and the IPCC ignored the possibility of indirect solar variability, which if important, would again be likely to have the effect of overstating the importance of GHGs/CO2.
    6. The models and the IPCC ignored the possibility that there may be other significant natural effects on global temperatures that we do not yet understand. This possibility invalidates their statements that one must assume anthropogenic sources in order to duplicate the temperature record. The 1998 spike in global temperatures is very difficult to explain in any other way.

  19. Mr. Fusion says:

    #51, fakedebate,

    Is this the “report” you referenced but didn’t link to?

  20. Mr. Fusion says:

    #52, matt,

    “Well lay me on the floor and call me matt”

    No you idiot I didn’t fail 6th grade science and history.

    Your posts give every indication of little science knowledge or comprehension. Most right wing nuts understanding of history is extremely selective, to be charitable, and invented in most cases.

  21. smith says:

    Fusion said, “Since the Supreme Court just told the EPA to write their regulations according to the law (The Clean Air Act) that is what the EPA must do. The only challenge under the CAA would be if someone is unfairly effected or the EPA’s new regulations do not follow the statute.”

    Which is exactly my point. The statute says that a major source in a nonattainment area (i.e., the entire country) is an emitter of greater than 100 tons per year. Apply that standard to CO2 and EVERY industry, appartment building, office building, farm, and a lot of households just became a major source.

    Your home is a major soure and you want to have another child? Well the CAA requires you to find offsets for your ncreased emissions. I guess you can ask grandpa if he is ready to take one for the family.

    So EPA dodges this issue by setting the threshold at 25,000 tons instead of 100. Where does it say they can do this in the statute? And why 25,000 tons and not 10,000 tons or 50,000 tons? This is only one of many problems they have with regulating CO2 under the Clean Air Act.

  22. Mr. Fusion says:

    #55, Smith,

    The only challenge under the CAA would be if someone is unfairly effected or the EPA’s new regulations do not follow the statute.”

    Which is exactly my point.

    Say what?

    In #23 you wrote:
    There are literally dozens (hundreds?) of legal challenges that EPA will need to defend, without the benefit of statutory authority. Courts have traditionally taken a dim view of EPA asserting powers not granted by statute.

    They want Congress to pass a new law and are using this as a threat. But it’s a bluff, pure and simple, because they know they can’t win this in court.

    In #29 you wrote:
    And another VERY important item that I failed to mention in my earlier post: All data, documents, and models used by EPA in establishing its regulation of CO2 as a pollutant must be available for public scrutiny. Let’s see if the AGW crowd can hide its dirty laundry during the discovery phase of a legal challenge.

    In #41 you wrote:
    And how odd that you believe the Court’s opinion limits a petitioner to very narrow grounds. Every decision that EPA makes, from its endargement finding onward, can be challenged in court — including the very basis for linking CO2 to climate change.

    Taking a different tact today?

    BTW, the EPA is not restricted in what limits it may regulate for each unit. There is no magic “10 tons” or “250 tons” limits. While this specific Supreme Court ruling addressed automobile emissions, the EPA regulations will be based upon the whole fleet, not the individual engine.

    Courts have already ruled that the EPA has the authority to make regulations so there will be no challenge there.

    The science is settled so any challenge will need to be contrary, stand on its own, and refute the accepted science. That means mere questions will not refute the accepted science. The anti CO2 crowd will have to provide evidence, which they don’t have. Courts take a dim view of having their time wasted by frivolous arguments.

  23. Mr. Fusion says:

    #55, Smith,

    It is easy to see your arguments are becoming stale.

    Your home is a major soure and you want to have another child? Well the CAA requires you to find offsets for your ncreased emissions. I guess you can ask grandpa if he is ready to take one for the family.

    The EPA can not regulate natural sources. That includes people and animals. Automobile emissions are not natural and thus may be regulated.

    This is only one of many problems they have with regulating CO2 under the Clean Air Act.

    Not only a valid point, but the whole reason the EPA would rather have Congress draft legislation instead of have the EPA craft regulations. Or weren’t you paying attention?

  24. Mr. Fusion says:

    #58, Cherman,

    Still making a fool of yourself?

  25. gooddebate says:

    # # #… Fusion, You don’t get it, the debate is over. Besides, you’re not here to debate, you’re just here appear to be intellectual.

    Here’s the actual report:
    http://www.humanevents.com/downloads-pdfs/Endangerment_comments_v7b.pdf

    The point here is to show a dissenting view within the EPA. But sense you brought up the article that also adds that this dissenting view was silenced by the new incoming EPA head (see heading: “The EPA’s Internal nightmare on Global Warming”).

    You’re problem is that you can’t win a real debate so you lead everyone off into the weeds where you can find camouflage. So, here’s your challenge, prove that there is a greenhouse signature in the upper atmosphere (#1 on the EPA list by the way). Lets see just how intelligent you are; enter into a real debate or avoid it and show what you’re really doing.

  26. Mr. Fusion says:

    #60, Nodebate,

    In #51 you made reference to “ the executive summary from the EPA report on CO2

    Your link does not go to an EPA report. It does to a “Comments on Draft TED for Endangerment Analysis for GHG Emissions under CAA

    I apologize. I overestimated your intelligence and actually expected you to know the difference between an internal discussion paper and a final report. Now I know.

    The point here is to show a dissenting view within the EPA. But sense you brought up the article that also adds that this dissenting view was silenced by the new incoming EPA head (see heading: “The EPA’s Internal nightmare on Global Warming”).

    YOUR point is to show a dissenting view. Not by a scientist(s). But by an economist.

    Why not read this article, over half of EPA staff scientists were muzzled by the Bush Administration. Yup, the very ones included that wanted to speak up about CO2.

    You’re problem is that you can’t win a real debate so you lead everyone off into the weeds where you can find camouflage

    The problem is you can’t win a debate when you bullshit your way through. This whole blog is another bullshit hit piece in order to get hits. Maybe if you had of read my earlier posts you would understand. Read over the first 25 comments and see how many actually added anything to the discussion and how many were just an opportunity for wing nuts to spew their bullcrap.

    The EPA is under a court order to write regulations on CO2 emissions. The only way they may be stopped from writing regulations is if Congress writes them. The EPA has already admitted CO2 is a greenhouse gas and has voluntary means of reducing emissions.

    So, here’s your challenge, prove that there is a greenhouse signature in the upper atmosphere (#1 on the EPA list by the way). Lets see just how intelligent you are; enter into a real debate or avoid it and show what you’re really doing.

    It is not up to me to prove anything one way or another. I have neither the expertise nor the finances to prove that argument. I will accept that scientists at the EPA have agreed it is a problem.

    The vast majority of serious scientists agree that green house gases are contributing to global warming. The few scientists that have been bought off by carbon emitters can only question the conclusions, they have yet to refute any of it. While meteorologists, electrical engineers, and veterinarians may be serious (See the Oregon Petition), they are not climatologists.

    The deniers are of two minds on this. One group admit there is global warming and CO2 is partly the cause, BUT man is not to blame. The other group just deny there is a problem. So which is it? Is there global warming or not?

  27. smith says:

    Fusion, my point, as stated in my very first post, is that EPA is bluffing. The Clean Air Act was never designed to regulate “greenhouse” gases. Nothing in the Supreme Court’s opinion changes that. If EPA attempts to regulate CO2 in the same manner it regulates criteria or hazardous air pollutants, they will need to regulate virtually every activity in the U.S., and virtually every activity will need to obtain an Operating Permit. EPA knows this, so they are attempting to establish standards and rules that are inconsistent with the Statute. Hence, the basis for all of the legal challenges I have predicted.

    Dude, this is my job. I’ve been doing this for twenty, damn long years. I’m really very good at it.

  28. gooddebate says:

    Fusion. Thanks for showing that you’re great at bullying. Besides that (bullying comments) the only other thing that you said was “It is not up to me to prove anything one way or another.” Kind of a reverse ad hominen attack; instead of telling me I’m not qualified you say that you’re not qualified. As if the only opinion that matters is mine and you have nothing to do with it. So, what is your purpose, bully everyone else?

    I know what evidence is, don’t you?

    Show me one piece of evidence that shows the greenhouse signature (That would be warming about 10 km above the surface, which should be especially pronounced in the tropics). Or do you only want to stay on the meaningless fringes bullying people to fulfill you’re own intellectual needs.

    “Is there global warming or not?” After spending so much time working on your smug response and saying how it’s not up to you you ask me to draw a conclusion? Nice. Lets see how many more attempts to derail the debate you can think of.

  29. Rick Cain says:

    CO2 is a pollutant, duh.

    The difference is obvious, when you breathe out, that CO2 laden breath is part of a closed cycle.

    But when you turn up your thermostat, you are using electricity that was generated by coal or natural gas, adding CO2 to the atmosphere that came from a carbon source that would ordinarily be locked deep inside the earth forever.

    Conservatives know this, but feign ignorance. No, cow farts aren’t the problem, non-renewable energy sources are.

  30. Mr. Fusion says:

    #62, Smith,

    If EPA attempts to regulate CO2 in the same manner it regulates criteria or hazardous air pollutants, they will need to regulate virtually every activity in the U.S.

    Maybe you should read the Supreme Court decision again. The case dealt with tailpipe emissions.

    Even so, the EPA may not regulate naturally occurring chemicals, such as exhaled breath or volcano emissions. But they may regulate turning carbon into CO2 or sulfur into sulfuric acid in a commercial enterprise.

    . EPA knows this, so they are attempting to establish standards and rules that are inconsistent with the Statute. Hence, the basis for all of the legal challenges I have predicted.

    And what, pray tell, are these standards “inconsistent” with the statutes? That the EPA may make regulations is firmly established. No court will entertain a frivolous argument that the EPA does not have authority. This is called settled law. Any argument that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas will need much more evidence than a bunch of screaming right wing nuts calling the EPA a bunch of communists.

    I’m really very good at it.

    Actually, you have shown nothing to indicate you know much, if anything, about this. You have yet to indicate ONE area or point that may be realistically challenged.Your spiel, as with most deniers, is reminiscent of Orly Tate.

    And for many many years I have been on both, a professional as well as personal, quest to root out bullshit.


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