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EPA Plays Piggy In the Middle

Posted by feww on July 12, 2008

Submitted by a Member

EPA Joins the Supreme Court and Congress to Play Piggy In the Middle

Note: Piggy in the Middle, also called Monkey in the Middle, Pickle in a Dish, Pickle in the Middle, or Keep Away is a children’s game played primarily in North American politics. Three or more players pass the responsibility for keeping the air clean and saving lives to one another, while the player in the middle (called it, the monkey, the piggy , the pickle, or simply we the people,) attempts to pinpoint the accountability.

Piggies on the run. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn (UNITED STATES). Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice

US Supreme Court: Carbon dioxide is an air pollutant, and the existing Clean Air Act gives EPA the authority to regulate it.

EPA Administrator Stephen [disgrace] Johnson: “If the nation is serious about regulating greenhouse gases the Clean Air Act is the wrong tool for the job and it’s really at the feet of Congress to come up with good legislation that cuts through what will likely be decades of regulation and litigation.”

The US Congress: Didn’t the Supreme Court clarify the position on this in 2007 in MASSACHUSETTS ET AL. v. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ET AL.? [Argued November 29, 2006—Decided April 2, 2007]

They said: “Based on respected scientific opinion that a well-documented rise in global temperatures and attendant climatological and environmental changes have resulted from a significant increase in the atmospheric concentration of “greenhouse gases,” a group of private organizations petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to begin regulating the emissions of four such gases, including carbon dioxide, under §202(a)(1) of the Clean Air Act, which requires that the EPA“shall by regulation prescribe . . . standards applicable to the emission of any air pollutant from any class . . . of new motor vehicles . . . which in [the EPA Administrator’s] judgment cause[s], or contribute[s] to, air pollution . . . reasonably . . . anticipated to endanger public health or welfare,” 42 U. S. C. §7521(a)(1). The Act defines “air pollutant” to include “any air pollution agent . . . , including any physical, chemical . . . substance . . . emitted into . . . the ambient air.” §7602(g). EPA ultimately denied the petition, reasoning that (1) the Act does not authorize it to issue mandatory regulations to address global climate change, and (2) even if it had the authority to set greenhouse gas emission standards, it would have been unwise to do so at that time because a causal link between greenhouse gases and the increase in global surface air temperatures was not unequivocally established. The agency further characterized any EPA regulation of motor-vehicle emissions as a piecemeal approach to climate change that would conflict with the President’s comprehensive approach involving additional support for technological innovation,the creation of non regulatory programs to encourage voluntary private-sector reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and further re-search on climate change, and might hamper the President’s ability to persuade key developing nations to reduce emissions. Petitioners, now joined by intervenor Massachusetts and other state and local governments, sought review in the D. C. Circuit. Al-though each of the three judges on the panel wrote separately, two of them agreed that the EPA Administrator properly exercised his discretion in denying the rule making petition. One judge concluded that the Administrator’s exercise of “judgment” as to whether a pollutant could “reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare,” §7521(a)(1), could be based on scientific uncertainty as well as other factors, including the concern that unilateral U. S. regulation of motor-vehicle emissions could weaken efforts to reduce other countries’ greenhouse gas emissions. The second judge opined that petitioners had failed to demonstrate the particularized injury to them that is necessary to establish standing under Article III, but accepted the contrary view as the law of the case and joined the judgment on the merits as the closest to that which he preferred. The court there-fore denied review. …”

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3 Responses to “EPA Plays Piggy In the Middle”

  1. […] EPA Plays Piggy In the Middle […]

  2. […] EPA Plays Piggy In the Middle […]

  3. […] EPA Plays Piggy In the Middle […]

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