Last week the Chamber of Commerce said it wanted to have a public trial–with witnesses, cross-examinations and a judge–on whether or not global warming is man made.
The Chamber compared the trial to the Scopes Monkey trial, which was the 1920’s trial that publicly pitted evolution versus creationsim.
The Chamber is now backpedaling away from those statements on the National Journal’s website, with William Kovachs, a VP at the Chamber of Commerce saying, “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is not denying or otherwise challenging the science behind global climate change.”
It was Kovachs who brought up the Scopes comparison in the first place, telling the LA Times, “It would be the science of climate change on trial.”
He’s now saying, “My “Scopes monkey” analogy was inappropriate and detracted from my ability to effectively convey the Chamber’s position on this important issue”
So, what’s the Chamber really after then? Trying ot get the EPA to chill out on all this talk of endangerment from carbon dioxide.
With that said, what the Chamber is doing is requesting that EPA conduct a formal on-the-record hearing on the evidence underlying its finding of endangerment. EPA wants to use the Clean Air Act to regulate CO2 emissions from cars. Before it can do this, EPA must first find, as a matter of law, that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles endanger U.S. public health and welfare. Because EPA has proposed that man-made greenhouse gas emissions cause or contribute to rising global temperatures, to make the endangerment finding EPA must now establish that the rising temperatures threaten public health and welfare—that is their burden of proof. EPA is, by all accounts, on the verge of answering this question in the affirmative. We don’t think the evidence EPA set forth meets the legal criteria to support such a finding, and we think a judge would agree with us.
Normally, such issues could be worked out through an ordinary informal rulemaking process (i.e., notice and comment). However, this rulemaking has been anything but ordinary.
First, the proposed endangerment finding acknowledges that the Administrator’s decision must be based on sound science, not speculation. Then it proceeds to run through a laundry-list of “uncertainties” that not only undermine its finding but also that the Administrator simply plans to ignore.
…Second, and equally troubling, is EPA’s ignorance of any evidence that calls into question its conclusions on endangerment. We all know by now the saga of Alan Carlin, the EPA whistleblower whose internal report criticising the data behind the endangerment finding was ignored because, according to Dr. Carlin’s boss, it does “not help the legal or policy case” for endangerment. It now appears EPA officials are considering scrapping the role Carlin’s office has in scientific analysis of agency rulemakings. Dr. Carlin is learning first-hand that the word “reprisal” contains the letters E, P and A.
…The facts listed above, when considered in their entirety, point to an inescapable conclusion: the informal rulemaking process has broken down here. The process to date has not been open and transparent, nor has it been conducted with scientific integrity, free from politics, ideology, and ex parte consultations. That is why the U.S. Chamber is asking for a formal on-the-record hearing: to bring into the open the reasoning behind this finding. Read the whole thing at the National Journal’s website→
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