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August 10, 2010
EPA Rejects Challenges to Climate Science
    by Robert Kropp

The Agency disallows ten petitions challenging its 2009 endangerment finding on greenhouse gas emissions, stating that "climate science is credible, compelling, and growing stronger."

While it may lack the authority to lead the US in a transition to a low-carbon economy, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under President Obama has not hesitated to impose regulations that are all the more important in light of the Senate's inability to enact climate change legislation.

Last December, for instance, the EPA issued an endangerment finding on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, basing its authority to regulate emissions on a 2007 decision by the US Supreme Court. The finding determined that the six primary GHGs threaten the public's health and the environment.

In response to its endangerment finding, the EPA received ten petitions "challenging its 2009 determination that climate change is real, is occurring due to emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities, and threatens human health and the environment," according to a press release issued by the Agency.

The petitions sought to discredit the validity of climate science by asserting that emails from the
Climatic Research Unit at the UK-based University of East Anglia revealed a conspiracy among climate scientists to manipulate date; that two confirmed errors in a 3,000-page report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) invalidates the findings of the report; and that new scientific studies refute evidence of climate change.

On July 29, the EPA announced that it had denied the ten petitions challenging its endangerment finding. "In contrast," the Agency stated, "EPA's review shows that climate science is credible, compelling, and growing stronger."

"Climate change is already happening, and human activity is a contributor," the EPA stated.

The US Chamber of Commerce, which had filed one of the ten petitions in which it challenged the EPA's authority to regulate GHG emissions, responded to the Agency's rejection of its petition by stating, "We are deeply disappointed with the EPA's failure to reconsider its flawed decision to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. We intend to appeal the ruling."

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson stated, "Defenders of the status quo will try to slow our efforts to get America running on clean energy. A better solution would be to join the vast majority of the American people who want to see more green jobs, more clean energy innovation and an end to the oil addiction that pollutes our planet and jeopardizes our national security."


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