Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More industry opposition to science

Too often, politics trumps science. And sadly most pols think only in election years or term lengths while the consequences of their (in)actions can far outlive them. Support for climate change legislation however defies the usual trend. Here, politicians are undertaking the cause, which is firmly backed by science, to divert a looming global disaster.

Passing legislation to curb our emissions means businesses will have to upgrade their technology and clean up their act – all of which costs money. This of course brings out all the denialist kooks in Washington. Major opposition to climate change legislation comes from the right in this country, which more often than the left, has the backing of agricultural and industrial sectors, those who would be hit the hardest by new regulations.

Recently, the EPA deemed increased atmospheric CO2 levels were a threat to human health and ruled CO2 emissions should be regulated under the Clean Air Act. This will be no easy task however. Politico reports that the same forces that helped weaken climate change legislation in Congress are launching an assault on the EPA. With 1,170 businesses and interests from agriculture and industry throwing lobbyists into the fray, they hope to challenge the EPA’s authority in regulating CO2 emissions and thus sending regulatory power back to Congress where politicians, hungry for campaign backing, lend a much friendlier ear.

And according to the report:

“But even if the agency can defend its pragmatism, it may not escape a trial on global warming science.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Massey Energy Co. and other mining interests already have filed a petition for court review of the EPA’s endangerment finding. “We think the EPA had a pre-selected outcome, then shaped the science to fit that outcome,” says lawyer Paul Phillips of the Holland & Hart law firm in Denver.”

Projection much?

The story continues:

“The EPA will have some powerful allies if such a challenge is filed. At least 16 states and four major environmental organizations have asked for court permission to join the case on the agency’s behalf. The latter group reprises much of the coalition that proved successful in the 2007 Supreme Court case that found greenhouse gases were a pollutant under the Clean Air Act, paving the way for EPA regulation"

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