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Old 12-20-2007, 12:23 AM   #1
furo
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Default EPA vs States

Originally Posted by AP
WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday slapped down California's bid for first-in-the-nation greenhouse gas limits on cars, trucks and SUVs, refusing the state a waiver that would have allowed those restrictions to take effect.

"The Bush administration is moving forward with a clear national solution — not a confusing patchwork of state rules," EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson told reporters on a conference call. "I believe this is a better approach than if individual states were to act alone."

The long-awaited decision amounted to a serious setback for California and at least 16 other states seeking the new car regulations to achieve their anti-global warming goals. It was a victory for automakers, who contended they would have been forced to reduce their selection of vehicles in the states that adopted California's standards.

The tailpipe standards California adopted in 2004 would have forced automakers to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in new cars and light trucks by 2016, with the cutbacks beginning in the 2009 model year.

Under the Clean Air Act, the state needed a federal waiver to implement the rules.

"It is disappointing that the federal government is standing in our way and ignoring the will of tens of millions of people across the nation," said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. "California sued to compel the agency to act on our waiver, and now we will sue to overturn today's decision and allow Californians to protect our environment."
You can see the full article here.

It is disappointing that the EPA has to step in here (in fact I'd rather we not even have an EPA).

I disapprove of using the Global Warming Theory to justify GHG reductions, but the states should be able to decide in the end.

The problem is that auto makers would be forced to sell their cars to states outside of California and 16 other states, effectively putting them out of business if they don't adhere to California standards.

The EPA's claim that Global Warming affects the entire nation seems to be their primary defense here, and it is admittably weak.

edit: As a matter of settled law, the Court ruled in Mass vs EPA, 549 U.S. 1438 (2007), that the EPA can regulate GHGs because they cause injury to citizens in Mass.

However, if you look at the Court's majority opinion, it is flawed in many ways, and never gets to the point of proving any causal link between manmade GHGs and climate change (i.e. the Court does not state that Global Warming Theory is proven.)

My hope is that this will be revisited under separate auspicions and settled once and for all.

I read Chief Justice Roberts' dissent, and then Scalia's dissent. Both were stinging criticisms of the Court's lack of adherence to the three point test of Standing under Article III jurisdiction.

Of notable interest is Scalia's attack on the Court for ruling without standing, wherein the Petitioners failed to show that injury was a result of any manmade cause.

He used this evidence from the National Research Council in 2001:
Originally Posted by NRC in 2001
that‘{b}ecause of the large and still uncertain level of natural variability inherent in the climate record and the uncertainties in the time histories of the various forcing agents (and particularly aerosols), a [causal]linkage between the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the observed climate changes during the 20th century cannot be unequivocally established. The fact that the magnitude of the observed warming is large in comparison to natural variability as simulated in climate models is suggestive of such a linkage, but it does not constitute proof of one because the model simulations could be defi-cient in natural variability on the decadal to century time scale’ (p. 17).

Last edited by furo; 12-20-2007 at 01:36 AM.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:31 AM   #2
Martigan
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This ruling makes sense. Imagine if ten states had ten different standards that the automakers had to comply with... Yeah you could say, "just adhere to the toughest standard and it takes care of all of them"... but you know one state will find something wrong with another state's standards...politics will ruin business. blah blah blah...who gives a shit anyway.
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Old 12-20-2007, 08:27 AM   #3
furo
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Originally Posted by Martigan View Post
This ruling makes sense. Imagine if ten states had ten different standards that the automakers had to comply with... Yeah you could say, "just adhere to the toughest standard and it takes care of all of them"... but you know one state will find something wrong with another state's standards...politics will ruin business. blah blah blah...who gives a shit anyway.
Currently most states that request waivers to the CAA use the California standard.

I think it should be left open to free market competition, because proving that the Global Warming Theory is in fact true is near impossible given our current technology (ref evidence above). Reducing GHGs in cars increases gas mileage. This has been proven. So auto-makers willing to increase their gas mileage should sell more cars given today's rising gas prices.

The sad thing is that the EPA is going to regulate the GHG output, knowing full well that it disagrees with the theory that man is the primary cause for climate change. The science is unproven, and the EPA stated exactly so in Mass vs EPA .

They are regulating because the Court stepped out of its lane as usual and ruled that CO2 is in fact a GHG that caused injury to Mass residents and eroded their coastline.
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