The Other Shoe Drops: EPA Finally Issues Endangerment Finding

by Daniel Farber | December 07, 2009

Today, EPA made its long-expected official finding: climate change is real, and we human beings are the cause.

More than two years after the Supreme Court ordered EPA to address the issue, EPA has now formally ruled that greenhouse gases cause climate change that endangers human health or welfare. EPA also found that motor vehicles contribute significantly to levels of greenhouse gases. These findings trigger regulation under the Clean Air Act for motor vehicles. Similar findings are likely in the near future under a different section of the statute relating to stationary sources such as factories.

This development has been inevitable since the Supreme Court ruled that EPA must make a decision based solely on the scientific evidence. Despite all the recent brouhaha about hacked emails, the scientific evidence on climate change is just as solid as the evidence behind DNA identification, the ill effects of cholesterol, the dangers of smoking cigarettes, and a host of other scientific knowledge that we all take for granted. If there were any tenable scientific evidence going the other way, the Bush Administration would have made its own findings in order to block regulation. They knew they couldn’t do that, so they just stalled as long as possible and ran out the clock.

No doubt there will be efforts to challenge the EPA finding in court. But the scientific evidence is overwhelming. In addition, the Supreme Court itself found enough evidence of ...

Would a CO2 "Monkey Trial" Improve Scientific Integrity and Transparency?

by Holly Doremus | August 26, 2009
Cross-posted by permission from Legal Planet. As reported in the L.A. Times and Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has petitioned EPA to hold a trial-type hearing before finalizing its proposed finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare. (We blogged about the proposed endangerment finding here.) The main argument in the petition is that a formal hearing is required to effectuate the administration’s stated commitment to scientific integrity and transparency. Don’t be fooled. Scientific integrity ...

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