EPA WHISTLEBLOWER: Repealing the Climate Endangerment Finding Is Crucial to Restoring EPA’s Integrity
Repealing the Climate Endangerment Finding Is Crucial to Restoring EPA’s Integrity
By Alan Carlin
USEPA is currently reviewing a number of Obama-era regulations with the apparent intention of repealing or revising some of them. They appear to have a plan as to how to do this, with what they view as the most egregious regulations to be revised or eliminated first and with an early deadline for completing the overall review process. They are already having difficulty satisfying the liberal DC Circuit Court of Appeals that they are implementing the Obama-era climate Endangerment Finding (EF). The EF is the scientific and legal justification for all EPA climate regulations and has been shown to be scientifically invalid by two separate innovative research reports over the past two years (see here and here). The Court is normally the first stop for review of legal disputes concerning Federal regulations. The Court has emphasized the necessity for the Agency to observe the EF. As long as it is in effect, EPA will have to satisfy the Court that new or revised regulations meet the EF. Failure is likely to result in adverse decisions by the Court concerning the regulations under dispute. The Court has already told EPA that the 2009 EF means the EPA has an “affirmative statutory obligation to regulate greenhouse gases.” The Clean Power Plan The Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), which limits carbon dioxide emissions from the electric power sector in each state using a very broad interpretation of the Clean Air Act, appears to be the most important of the climate regulations involved. The Trump EPA has proposed to repeal the CPP and has asked the public in an Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM) for comments on what if anything should replace it. There are presumably only three things the Agency could reasonably do given their proposal to repeal the CPP: (1) Propose a replacement for the CPP in response with the EF, such as restricting the CPP to cover only changes inside power plant fences as provided under the Clean Air Act, (2) reconsider and (hopefully) repeal the EF, or (3) propose that there be no replacement for the CPP. The problem with (1) is that the Agency would end up reaffirming the current EF, which would make later reconsideration of the EF more difficult, end up being very expensive, and have no real benefits. Option (3) is likely to run afoul of the DC Circuit and perhaps even the Supreme Court. The best alternative appears to be option (2). Presumably EPA will have to decide which of these actions to take after the CPP is repealed and comments are received on the ANPRM. You can submit your comments to USEPA on the repeal of the CPP until April 26 and on the ANPRM until February 26. It is only by repealing the scientifically invalid EF that scientific objectivity can come to future EPA actions concerning climate change. And nothing else will make it harder for possible future climate alarmist-inclined administrations to easily reimpose the CPP and even more damaging regulations.
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