23 Feb 2010, 4:10pm
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Senator Barbara Boxer and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Throw IPCC Under the Bus

Following the release of the Inhofe Report, Boxer claimed she was only quoting “American scientists,” and Jackson reversed herself on the use of the IPCC as the “gold standard.”

by Charlie Martin, Pajamas Media February 23, 2023 [here]

During the review of the Environmental Protection Agency budget in today’s Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, both Senator Barbara Boxer — the chair of the committee — and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson distanced themselves from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).

Boxer and Jackson’s statements, in addition to being a striking change in policy, are problematic because U.S. climate science is very closely tied to the IPCC reports (as Christopher Horner showed in his recent PJM series on the NASA FOIA emails.)

The statements by Boxer and Jackson followed Senator Inhofe’s release (see the PJM exclusive report) in his opening statement of a minority staff report documenting many flaws in the IPCC report and the other evidence revealed in the Climategate files. (See the full hearing on CSPAN here; the exchanges with Senator Boxer and Inhofe, and Administrator Jackson begin at about 56 minutes into the video.)

Both Boxer and Jackson appeared to be trying to distance the EPA from the IPCC report. Boxer said:

In my opening statement, I didn’t quote one international scientist or IPCC report. … We are quoting the American scientific community here.

When Inhofe directly asked Jackson if she still considered the IPCC report the “gold standard,” she answered:

The primary focus of the endangerment finding was on climate threat risks in this country.

Jackson also noted:

[The errors Inhofe had presented were] international events. The information on the glaciers and other events doesn’t weaken … the evidence we considered [to make the Endangerment Finding on CO2.]

The EPA has specifically cited the IPCC AR4 report as the primary source from which it drew information to make the Endangerment Finding on CO2 as a pollutant. In the past, the worldwide nature of the climate changes, and of the data, had been cited as one of the reasons for using the IPCC report, but now it appeared that Jackson was trying to separate the Endangerment Finding from the IPCC. … [more]

23 Feb 2010, 4:08pm
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A Dying Initiative: Western Climate Initiative

by Lawrence Solomon, SPPL Blog, Source: Financial Post, Feb. 23, 2010 [here]

The Western Climate Initiative’s cap and trade market may soon need to be renamed The Canada Climate Initiative.

Until last week, the Western Climate Initiative boasted seven U.S. states and four Canadian provinces who were working toward the launch of a regional cap and trade system on Jan. 1, 2012. Last Thursday, Arizona formally announced it was backing out of cap and trade. As the state with the fastest rate of emission growth — 61% between 1990 and 2007 — many feared a body blow to Arizona’s economy if it tried to meet the initiative’s carbon reduction goals. The following morning neighbouring Utah indicated it might follow suit. By a 6 to 2 vote, its House Committee on Public Utilities and Technology passed a nonbinding resolution to urge Governor Gary Herbert to pull out of the Western Climate Initiative. Earlier in the week, the full Utah House voted resoundingly — 56 to 17 — to curb any carbon-curbing attempts by the federal government’s Environmental Protection Agency.

Specifically, the resolution introduced into the House “urges the United States Environmental Protection Agency to halt its carbon dioxide reduction policies and programs and with its ‘Endangerment Finding’ and related regulations until a full and independent investigation of the climate data conspiracy and global warming science can be substantiated.”

To date, only four of the 11 jurisdictions have adopted legislation that would allow them to participate in the cap-trade-market: California, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, with Manitoba appearing close to joining. Oregon, Washington, Montana and New Mexico have not yet adopted cap-and-trade legislation and now California, which is tottering toward bankruptcy, has become iffy: A voter initiative in California, if it passes in November, would halt the cap-and-trade program until unemployment falls to 5.5%.

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22 Feb 2010, 11:28pm
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Klamath Restoration Agreement Makes Water Rights a Water Sport

By Karla Kay Edwards, Cascade Policy Institute, February 22, 2023 [here]

Summary: The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement signed on February 18, 2023 will critically impact the way water rights are determined in Oregon. With so many victims of the process, the one-sided adulation by the Governors of Oregon and California, as well as others present at the signing ceremony in the state capitol rotunda, is disheartening.

The Klamath Basin has been waging a water war of epic proportions since 2001. Although this community has had a long history of water disputes, the issue garnered national recognition in early 2001 when a drought was declared and irrigators’ water was turned off in order to protect endangered fish in the Klamath River. It took another four years of economic and environmental catastrophes before many of the parties involved would join together in July 2005 to begin to discuss a settlement agreement. At this point the real game began, and the rules started to change.

Water rights have developed over decades from a common-law basis where prior appropriation was key. Water rights are established on a timeline, with the most assured rights held by the oldest rights holder, known as “senior.” All water rights with a date filed after that time are considered “junior” to the senior water right holder. So, for example, during a drought the junior water right holder must turn off their water before the senior right holder does. The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement signed on February 18, 2023 overturns this system and risks throwing the region into chaos. … [more]

22 Feb 2010, 11:22pm
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New Climate Agency Head Tried to Suppress Data, Critics Charge

By Ed Barnes, FOXNews.com, February 22, 2023 [here]

The scientist who has been put in charge of the Commerce Department’s new climate change office is coming under attack from both sides of the global warming debate over his handling of what they say is contradictory scientific data related to the subject.

Thomas Karl, 58, was appointed to oversee the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center, an ambitious new office that will collect climate change data and disseminate it to businesses and communities. …

Karl, who has played a pivotal role in key climate decisions over the past decade, has kept a low profile as director of National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) since 1998, and he has led all of the NOAA climate services since 2009. His name surfaced numerous times in leaked “climate-gate” e-mails from the University of East Anglia, but there was little in the e-mails that tied him to playing politics with climate data. Mostly, the e-mails show he was in the center of the politics of climate change decisions.

His appointment was hailed by both the Sierra Club and Duke Energy Company of North Carolina. Sierra Club President Carl Pope said, “As polluters and their allies continue to try to muddy the waters around climate science, the Climate Service will provide easy, direct access to the valuable scientific research undertaken by government scientists and others.” …

But Roger Pielke Sr., a climatologist affiliated with the University of Colorado who has crossed horns with Karl in the past, says his appointment was a mistake. He accused Karl of suppressing data he submitted for the IPCC’s most recent report on climate change and having a very narrow view of its causes. …

“The unconstitutional global warming office and its new Web site climate.gov would be charged with propagandizing Americans with eco-alarmism,” wrote Alex Newman of the Liberty Sentinel of Gainesville, Fla.

On the popular skeptic site “Watts Up With That,” Anthony Watts called the climate.gov site a “waste of more taxpayer money” and charged that it is nothing more than a “fast track press release service.” He wrote that putting Karl in charge was an issue… [more]

22 Feb 2010, 11:16pm
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Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, Part I

Book Review by William M. Briggs, wmbriggs.com, Feb. 22, 2010 [here]

Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change, by Jonah Goldberg. Re-issued in paperback, with a new afterword.

Recommendation: buy a copy today, buy another for your “progressive” friend, and read.

Here’s what happened.

In 1793, influenced by the writings of weeping pussy-willow philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau, and a year after they joyfully stuffed their king in a hole, French intellectuals created the Committee for Public Safety, in which it was decided that the safest thing to do was to lop off as many heads as possible. …

However, le peuple soon tired of his jawing, and of slipping on all that blood and staining their clothes. So they ushered Robespierre to the Guillotine of Clemency. And to take his place, they installed the dictator Napoleon. Who decided, in the name of l’égalité, to proportionally kill as many non-French people as he killed French people. “It is for their own good,” he said.

For intellectuals in England, bliss it was to read of rivers running red. True, they reasoned, not everybody who was whacked deserved it, but it was a small price to pay to progress to the socialist utopia that was just over the horizon. Browning wrote in the Old York Times, “You can’t make an omelet without cracking a few skulls.” …

Later, Marx looked back on the French Revolution and lamented, “Nice try.” He theorized, “Next time wait for the world’s workers to rise up and slaughter their employers. Then we will have true socialism.” …

Which, after a few false starts, was ushered in by Lenin, an intellectual who agitated for international socialism and the rights of the people. Molotov also fought for rights. He said, “We are all brothers now.” Those that demurred were made to drink his cocktail. One of Lenin’s rights was Full Employment, whose first beneficiaries were coffin makers and gulag guards. … [more]

Note: we heart Matt! Read this post!

22 Feb 2010, 11:14pm
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Independent Bloggers vs Corporate Environmentalists

by Donna Laframboise,  NOconsensus.org, Feb 22, 2023 [here]

Another day, another smarmy accusation that people who are skeptical of climate change are being funded by a shadowy conspiracy connected in one manner or another to big oil, big coal, big tobacco or - horror of horrors - right-wing think tanks.

These accusations are tiresome. They’re ugly. They’re almost entirely unsubstantiated. Most of all, they’re a waste of time. They amount to shooting the messenger rather than addressing the bleeping message.

So why do they keep getting repeated? I think I’ve sorted out two reasons. First: the lavishly-funded corporate nature of the environmental movement circa 2010. Second: modern technological wonders such as personal computers and the Internet. …

Compare and contrast to how independent individuals of utterly modest means from all over the world currently behave. They sign up to a service like Blogger.com (which is owned by Google) and, within a few hours at most, for no cost whatsoever, have launched themselves as a blogger. Alternatively, for well under $10 in hosting fees a month, they can publish their own website. …

From the perspective of environmental organization staffers, research agency employees, and tenured university professors it must appear as though skeptics have access to deep pockets. In the universe those people inhabit, even the simplest tasks can end up as budget line items. There are layers of bureaucracy, paperwork, office politics, and regulations to consider.

For the small and growing army of skeptical climate bloggers, however, none of that applies. The equivalent of a battered fishing boat will do nicely, thank you.

Those vessels are now everywhere. They’re being sailed by real people and fueled by grassroots concern, outrage, and passion. And they’re not going away. … [more]

Note: we heart Donna! Read this post!

Groups ready fisher lawsuit against feds

by Walt Cook, The Union Democrat, February 11, 2023 [here]

An alliance of environmental groups plans to sue the U.S. Department of the Interior for failing to place the West Coast fisher on the Endangered Species List.

The historical trapping of the animal, a relative of the mink that weighs as much as a house cat, and logging of old-growth forests have “devastated” West Coast fisher populations, the groups contend.

The Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Forest Legacy, Environmental Protection Information Center and Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center filed a formal notice of intent to sue the Interior Department on Feb. 4. The groups can file a complaint in federal court 60 days after that date.

Fishers once ranged throughout the forests of Canada and the United Sates, including Washington, Oregon and California. They were almost completely wiped out in the United States, due to a desire for their pelts, which fetched $150 apiece in 1900. They are now making a comeback in some parts of the country.

Today, in California, two native fisher populations exist: Near the California-Oregon border and in the southern Sierra Nevada, about half of the animals’ historic statewide territory, say the groups bringing the lawsuit.

Timber industry groups worry placing the West Coast fisher on the Endangered Species List will hinder logging operations, as such a designation places restrictions on human activities in areas deemed critical habitat.

Chris Conrad, president of the Tuolumne County Alliance for Resources and Environment, sees the environmental groups’ push to list the fisher as an underhanded way to stop logging operations. Twain Harte-based TuCARE defends the interests of cattle and logging operators in the Stanislaus National Forest.

Forests in the Sierra Nevada are so overgrown in places that a catastrophic fire is inevitable without more logging, Conrad said.

“I think it’s evident that these groups have another agenda, and that is to completely shut down forest management,” Conrad said. “It’s unfortunate because the thing that endangers the fisher right now is the incredible buildup of forest fuels. If we don’t address that, their whole habitat is going to burn down.” … [more]

22 Feb 2010, 9:06pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Sam D. Hamilton dead at 54; U.S. fish and wildlife director

Washington Post, February 22, 2023 [here]

Sam D. Hamilton, 54, the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, died Feb. 20 after suffering chest pains while skiing at the Keystone Ski Area in Colorado. The Summit County, Colo., coroner told the Associated Press that his death was consistent with an underlying heart problem. …

Mr. Hamilton, a 30-year veteran of the agency who became its director in September, was one of the leaders of restoration work in the Florida Everglades and along the coastal wetlands and wildlife habitat along the Gulf Coast after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. When the ivory-billed woodpecker, long thought extinct, was spotted in his region in 2005, he told The Washington Post: “It’s given us a renewed hope that all these efforts, all this work, can pay off. It’s the story of how you can get a second chance.” …

The son of an Air Force pilot, Mr. Hamilton grew up in Starkville, Miss. His first outdoors job was as a Youth Conservation Corps member on the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge in Mississippi, where he learned to band wood ducks and Canada geese, to build waterfowl pens and to understand the importance of managing wildlife habitat. Mr. Hamilton graduated from Mississippi State University in 1977. He rose through the Fish and Wildlife Service from being its Texas administrator, to assistant regional director of ecological services in Atlanta and then director of the agency’s Southeast region, based in Atlanta. …

Survivors include his wife, Becky Arthur Hamilton, of Atlanta; two sons, Sam Hamilton Jr. and Clay Hamilton, both of Atlanta; and a grandson.

20 Feb 2010, 4:01pm
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Judge gives his blessing to copters in wilderness

Fish & Game officials set to collar wolves

By Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune, February 20th, 2010 [here]

A federal judge said Friday the Idaho Department of Fish and Game can land helicopters in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area this winter to capture and place radio collars on wolves.

The department won Forest Service approval late last year to briefly land in the wilderness up to 20 times while biologists are flying over counting deer and elk. The landings would occur if and when fish and game biologists spot and are able to shoot wolves with tranquilizer darts. Once on the ground, a biologist would fit the wolves with radio collars to help them monitor wolf movements and populations.

But several environmental and wilderness protection groups sued, saying the landings violated the Wilderness Act. Motorized travel is not allowed in federally designated wilderness areas but there are several exceptions, including one for scientific studies that lead to improving wilderness conditions.

On Friday, Judge B. Lynn Winmill, of Boise, said the landings meet the criteria for exceptions to the ban on motorized travel and refused to issue an injunction.

“The use of helicopters is designed to restore a specific aspect of the wilderness character of the Frank Church Wilderness that had been earlier destroyed by man. In that context, the helicopter flights for this particular operation are consistent with the categorical exclusion that requires they be “limited in context and intensity.” … [more]

19 Feb 2010, 10:27pm
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EPA, Countering Critics of Greenhouse Gas Findings, Says ‘Science Is Settled’

by Molly Henneberg, FOXNews.com, February 19, 2023 [here]

The Environmental Protection Agency, responding complaints about its December findings about the threat of greenhouse gases, issued a statement Friday saying that the “science is settled” and “greenhouse gases pose a real threat to the American people.”

The statement comes after after Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed a petition with the EPA and a challenge in federal appeals court over the EPA’s conclusions.

With climate scientists in the hot seat recently over an e-mail scandal and mistakes in a prominent U.N. report, Cuccinelli argues the EPA should “restart the process and this time use rigorous, defensible science.”

He says the EPA is expected to announces measures to cap carbon emissions, based on its climate change findings, and that will put a “staggering burden” on Virginia residents and businesses.

The EPA says it is going forward with “common sense measures that are helping to protect Americans from this threat” and said its critics are trying to “stall progress.” … [more]

Note: Twenty-six lawsuits and legal petitions have been filed against the EPA and their CO2 endangerment finding. The EPA’s defense is as pathetic as a kitten thrown into a shark pool. Advice to the squeamish: turn away and don’t look — the lawyerly feeding frenzy is going to be brutal and bloody.

19 Feb 2010, 10:21pm
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The crackup of the climate ‘consensus’

By STEVEN F. HAYWARD, NY Post, February 19, 2023 [here]

The climate-change campaign is in catastrophic free fall.

Nearly every day brings a new embarrassment or retraction for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the supposed gold standard for “consensus” science. The withdrawal this week of BP, ConocoPhillips and Caterpillar from the main US business lobby for greenhouse-gas controls is the latest political blow to the campaign.

The anti-warming lobby long demonized skeptics as the moral equivalent of Holocaust deniers while warning of climate “tipping points.” Now, the “Climategate” scandal that broke in November is looking like a true tipping point: The leaked e-mails have done to the climate-change debate what the Pentagon Papers did for the Vietnam War debate 40 years ago — changed the narrative decisively.

For years, skeptics have been pointing out serious defects or gross exaggerations in the climate narrative — glaciers that weren’t actually melting; weak or incomplete data in the records of surface temperature that supposedly proved unprecedented warming; a complete lack of backup for claims that storms and drought are growing more severe. Plus, global temperatures have been flat for the last decade — increasingly falsifying the computer models that project our doom.

The media long ignored every criticism, and generally joined the climate campaigners in denouncing skeptics for their turpitude. Now it’s playing catch-up. … [more]

19 Feb 2010, 10:08pm
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ODFW collars three more Imnaha wolves

Wallowa County Chieftain, 2/18/2010 [here]

State wildlife staffers collared and released three wolves from the Imnaha pack last week, which will help wildlife managers better track and understand the pack’s movements, ODFW announced Thursday, Feb. 18.

A 115-pound wolf believed to be the alpha male was fitted Friday with a GPS collar, which allows ODFW to collect multiple locations of the wolf each day. A 97-pound male was fitted with a radio collar during the same operation and a 70-pound female pup was radio-collared on Saturday.

“The wolves were in good body condition and the capture went well,” said Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator.

These wolves were found in the ODFW Imnaha Wildlife Management Unit and are part of a pack videoed on Nov. 12, 2009. Based on the evidence so far, Morgan believes this pack consists of 10 wolves, with five of those pups.

Back in January 2008, the alpha female of this pack, B-300, was confirmed to be the first wolf to enter Oregon from Idaho since the early 2000s. She was captured and re-fitted with a working radio collar in July of last year, which helped ODFW find the three additional members of the pack.

While the size of wolf packs can vary, breeding usually occurs only between the dominant or “alpha” male and female of the pack.

In addition to the Imnaha pack, ODFW continues to track a wolf pack in the Wenaha Wildlife Management Unit, also in Wallowa County. None of these wolves has been collared yet, but wildlife managers have repeatedly found tracks and scat from these animals and estimate there are four wolves in this pack. … [more]

19 Feb 2010, 10:06pm
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Two more monuments planned in Utah?

By Thomas Burr, Salt Lake Tribune, 02/19/2010 [here]

Washington » Rep. Rob Bishop says he has unearthed plans by the Obama administration to wield its power to designate multiple new national monuments in the West, including two that would snatch up thousands of acres in Utah.

That revelation by the Utah Republican set off a firestorm of criticism Thursday from congressional and state leaders in the Beehive State — although the Interior Department insists the document on which Bishop bases his allegation is simply a draft memo outlining lands that may, in the future, deserve protection.

Two Utah swaths are mentioned in the document, marked “not for release” — the San Rafael Swell in the south-central part of the state and Cedar Mesa in San Juan County. The exact size of potential monuments isn’t mentioned.

Interior spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff says Secretary Ken Salazar asked the department’s bureaus to identify areas that might be worth further study as possible management areas or spots for Congress to step in and designate as protected.

“The preliminary internal discussion draft reflects some brainstorming discussions within [Bureau of Land Management], but no decisions have been made about which areas, if any, might merit more serious review and consideration,” Barkoff said. “Secretary Salazar believes new designations and conservation initiatives work best when they build on local efforts to better manage places that are important to nearby communities.”

The seven-page document states that “further evaluations should be completed prior to any final decision,” including gauging congressional and public support.

Interior officials soon will get a sample of that support — or the lack of it — in person. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who will be in Washington, D.C., for a national governors gathering, will meet with Salazar on Sunday and Interior Undersecretary David Hayes on Monday to express his deep concerns.

“I will challenge federal officials,” Herbert said in a news release, “to explain to me how they could possibly be in a better position to know what’s best for our rural lands than those of us here on the ground in this state.”

Environmental activists cheered Interior’s efforts to look at potential monuments.

“Given the attention Congress gives to Utah wilderness, it should come as no surprise that the administration is considering protections for Utah’s incomparable landscapes such as the San Rafael Swell and Cedar Mesa,” said Richard Peterson-Cremer, legislative director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. “The success of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument has demonstrated to Utahns and Americans the benefits of protecting these special places.”

But Utah’s congressional members expressed plenty of surprise — and outrage.

They remember all too well 1996, when then-President Bill Clinton surprised and angered many Utahns by going to the Grand Canyon during the heat of his re-election campaign and unilaterally setting aside 1.7 million acres in Kane and Garfield counties as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

more »

19 Feb 2010, 10:00pm
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Colder Is Warmer Sez Obama


Obama rebukes climate skeptics

Google News, February 19, 2023 [here]

(AFP) HENDERSON, Nevada — US President Barack Obama on Friday rebuked climate change skeptics who argue that piles of snow dumped on the United States during a frigid winter cast doubt on global warming science.

Here are Obama’s words. You decide whether Barack is science-challenged or not:

When the Conservatives have their conventions (ahem) and they yell at me and say how terrible I am, along with health care this is thing they usually point out. Which is, the president wants to create this cap and trade system, and it’s going to be a job killer, and it’s one more step in the government takeover of the American economy…first of all, we just got five feet of snow in Washington, so a lot of people who are the opponents of climate change they say ’see, look at that, there’s all this snow on the ground, this doesn’t mean anything.’ I want to be just be clear that the science of climate change doesn’t mean that every place is getting warmer, it means the planet as a whole is getting warmer. But what it may mean is, for example, Vancouver, which is supposed to be getting snow during the Olympics, suddenly is at 55*, and Dallas is suddenly getting seven inches of snow.

The idea is that the planet as a whole gets warmer, you start seeing changing weather patterns and that creates more violent storm systems, more unpredictable weather, so any single place might end up being warmer, another place might end up being cooler, there might be more precipitation in the air, more monsoons, more hurricanes, more tornadoes, more droughts in some places, floods in other places. So that’s aspect of the science I think everybody should understand.

My opinion? As usual, Barack is self-referential, paranoid, whining, lashing out, confused, wrong. Typical Barry without his teleprompter.

17 Feb 2010, 9:42pm
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16 ‘Endangerment’ Lawsuits Filed Against EPA Before Deadline

By ROBIN BRAVENDER of Greenwire, NY Times, February 17, 2023 [here]

Industry groups, conservative think tanks, lawmakers and three states filed 16 court challenges to U.S. EPA’s “endangerment” finding for greenhouse gases before yesterday’s deadline, setting the stage for a legal battle over federal climate policies.

Filing petitions yesterday were the Ohio Coal Association, the Utility Air Regulatory Group, the Portland Cement Association, the state of Texas and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Another was filed by a coalition that includes the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the American Petroleum Institute, the Corn Refiners Association, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Oilseed Processors Association, the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, and the Western States Petroleum Association.

The lawsuits ask the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review EPA’s determination that greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare. That finding — released in December in response to a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling — allows the agency to regulate the heat-trapping emissions under the Clean Air Act. Observers expect the court to consolidate the petitions.

Many industry groups and states argue that forthcoming EPA regulations will have devastating economic consequences, while EPA and environmentalists say the agency is required by law to begin regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The agency is planning to finalize new greenhouse gas rules for automobiles and large stationary sources next month. …

Ten other petitions have been filed by Alabama, Virginia, the American Iron and Steel Institute, Gerdau Ameristeel Corp., the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Mining Association, Peabody Energy Co., the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 13 House lawmakers and the Southeastern Legal Foundation, and the Coalition for Responsible Regulation.

A coalition of 16 states and New York City has also asked to intervene on behalf of EPA in the endangerment case. … [more]

 
  
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