In total, 16 lawsuits challenging EPA’s determination that greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare were filed before last Tuesday’s court deadline.
The lawsuits, filed in December 2009 and February 2010 in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, seek to overturn EPA’s recent endangerment finding for greenhouse gases. The State of Texas, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute, and the National Beef Cattlemen’s Association are among those who oppose EPA’s finding.
In December 2009, pursuant to section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act, EPA found that current and projected concentrations of six greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, including carbon dioxide, endanger the public health and welfare of current and future generations. While this finding did not impose any requirements, it serves as the basis for future rulemakings which will do so.
The Opponents’ challenges have taken two forms: (1) Petitions for Review filed in a federal court of appeals; and (2) Petitions for Reconsideration directed to EPA. These challenges are based on, among other things, recently revealed allegations of flaws in data derived from climate change research.
Last Friday, EPA released a statement that the “science is settled” and “greenhouse gases pose a real threat to the American people.” EPA further states 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.”