Conservative scientists and policy experts are continuing their push to get the Trump administration to review a document that served as the legal basis for the Obama administration’s global warming agenda.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a think tank, and the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) sent letters to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, urging him to consider two petitions to reconsider the so-called “endangerment finding” for greenhouse gases.
The letters were signed by “60 climate and health experts” who support EPA responding to a petition CEI filed earlier this year challenging the 2009 endangerment finding, which gives EPA authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.
“As our petition points out, there are huge problems with the computer models on which the Endangerment Finding was based, which means our government’s climate policy rests on bad science,” Sam Kazman, CEI’s general counsel, said in a statement.
Conservatives have been pushing the Trump administration to reconsider the endangerment finding and possibly overturning it. Doing so would keep a future administration re-imposing climate regulations the Trump administration repeals.
Earlier this year, CEI and the Concerned Household Electricity Consumers Council filed petitions with EPA to reconsider the endangerment finding.
EPA issued its endangerment finding for six greenhouse gases in 2009, finding such emissions from vehicles “endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations.”
The Obama administration has relied on the endangerment finding to impose a sweeping regulatory agenda to clamp down on carbon dioxide and methane emissions, culminating in EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP).
Pruitt recently signed a proposal to repeal the CPP, but that effort could take months. But even with repeal, EPA will no doubt be sued by environmentalists to replace the CPP with another plan to regulate power plant carbon dioxide emissions.
That is unless EPA can find problems with the Obama-era endangerment finding.
“Since the time we filed our petition, new papers by climate alarmists themselves have conceded that their models overestimate global warming,” Kazman said.
“The Endangerment Finding needs to be reexamined so that sound policy is based on sound science,” Kazman said. “Failure to do so threatens affordable energy, millions of jobs, and lives and the world.”
So what’s holding Pruitt back? It’s unclear if Pruitt will review the endangerment finding, and some legal experts have warned against even trying.
Richard Lazarus, an environmental law professor Harvard University told The New York Times “as a matter of legal strategy, it makes little sense because the endangerment finding is very strong.”
“Policy risks could arise from playing politics,” Chrissy Harbin, vice president of external affairs for Americans for Prosperity, told Politico.
“If done incorrectly, efforts that are more politically motivated than policy-focused could unintentionally undermine conservatives’ ability to roll back overreaching Obama-era regulations,” Harbin said.
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