“In its rush to regulate greenhouse gases in 2009, the Obama Administration missed an important step. It utterly failed to submit the greenhouse gas endangerment finding to the Science Advisory Board for peer review, as required by statute, and that violation is fatal to the endangerment finding.”
– Robert Henneke, director, Center for the American Future. Texas Public Policy Foundation Press Release. May 2, 2017
It is time to play offense. Legal issues aside, numerous lines of evidence have come together to strengthen the intellectual case that the increasing atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) is a net planetary benefit, or a positive externality in the jargon of economics.
This week, the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) filed a petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency challenging the EPA’s 2009 endangerment finding designating man-made greenhouse gas emissions as a danger to human health.
The stakes are high for reversing Obama-era activism in this area, as TPPF explained in its press release.
The 2009 finding paved the way for stringent federal carbon dioxide emissions standards and gave the EPA unprecedented regulatory power because carbon dioxide is everywhere.
“Because the most prevalent greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide, a ubiquitous natural substance, the endangerment finding has been used by the EPA to begin regulating virtually every nook and cranny of the national economy,” said [TPPF senior attorney Ted] Hadzi-Antich. “A regulatory action of such magnitude must be taken soberly and, at the very least, in compliance with the law.”
“The EPA may reverse the prior administration’s decisions and interpretations of the statutes it administers, even where courts have upheld the previous policies,” said Ryan Walters, attorney for TPPF’s Center for the American Future. “This administrative petition provides a roadmap to restore the rule of law and sound science at EPA.”
Numerous posts at MasterResource have documented the positive side of CO2 emissions for greening Planet Earth. This is hardly controversial. The New York Times reported last month that a group of scientists
have discovered that in the last century, plants have been growing at a rate far faster than at any other time in the last 54,000 years. Writing in the journal Nature, they report that plants are converting 31 percent more carbon dioxide into organic matter than they were before the Industrial Revolution. The increase is because of the carbon dioxide that humans are putting into the atmosphere, which fertilizes the plants, Dr. Campbell said.
And also in the Times’s article, “A Global Greening“:
“It’s tempting to think of photosynthesis at the scale of the entire planet as too large to be influenced by human actions,” said Christopher B. Field, the director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, who was not involved in the study. “But the story here is clear. This study is a real tour de force.”
In the endangerment rethink, keep an eye on the exciting reports from the CO2 Coalition. And for background, read about the “miracle molecule” CO2, as Vijay Jayaraj has explained. Consider that benefits may exceed costs by 50 times, as posited by Roger Bezdek and Paul Driessen.
Needless to say, the petition to EPA from TPPF is intellectually ripe in a new political era.