Chamber Kicks Off Legal Battle Over Carbon Regs

Background photo by Wikimedia Commons user <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Smokestacks_3958.jpg">Dori</a> used under a CC License

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


The first shots in the legal battle over the greenhouse gas regulation have officially been fired. After dropping hints of a possible lawsuit last month, US Chamber of Commerce has formally filed a court challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s ruling that greenhouse gases endanger public health. 

Rather than attacking the underlying science behind the EPA’s decision, the Chamber says it’s focusing on whether it’s appropriate for the EPA to regulate emissions under the Clean Air Act. “The U.S. Chamber strongly supports efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, but we believe there’s a right way and a wrong way to achieve that goal,” said Steven J. Law, chief legal officer and general counsel for the Chamber. “The wrong way is through the EPA’s endangerment finding, which triggers Clean Air Act regulation.”

EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, as well as President Barack Obama and other advisers, have repeatedly said that the Clean Air Act is not ideal for dealing with climate change, and that they would prefer new legislation from Congress. But the EPA issued the endangerment finding in response to a specific directive from the Supreme Court in 2007 requiring the agency to determine whether greenhouse gases threaten human health. Once the agency reached the scientific conclusion that such pollutants are a health threat, it was automatically obliged to regulate those gases.

Although Chamber claims its not contesting the science of climate change, its submission does just that. The Chamber claims in its statement that the EPA failed to complete “careful analysis of all available data and options” before releasing the “flawed” endangerment finding. And in past statements on this subject, the Chamber has not been shy about engaging in a scientific debate on climate change. Last year the Chamber’s senior vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs called for “the Scopes monkey trial of the 21st Century” on climate change (he later backed off). And in its comments on the initial endangerment finding, the Chamber argued that climate change might actually be beneficial for humans, and that the problem of global warming could be solved if more people used air conditioners.

 

 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate