ACRU Brief: EPA Jumped the Gun in CO2 Crackdown

WASHINGTON D.C. (April 29, 2013) — A lower court ignored the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) breach of federal law requiring peer review when the agency issued a finding that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a pollutant subject to federal regulation, a brief filed on April 22 by the American Civil Rights Union states.

Written by ACRU General Counsel Peter Ferrara in Pacific Legal Foundation v. Environmental Protection Agency, the brief asks the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. The brief notes that peer-review is essential to determine scientific merit, and that the EPA imposed regulations without bothering to abide by the law’s standard of review.

On December 9, 2009, the EPA issued a formal Endangerment Finding regarding carbon dioxide (CO2) and its potential to cause catastrophic, man-caused, global warming. The EPA then began to regulate CO2 emissions under the Clean Air Act, starting with vehicle emissions and fossil-fuel-fired energy plants.

“CO2 is a natural substance in the environment essential to all life on the planet,” the brief states. “It is effectively oxygen for plants, on which all animal life is dependent for food. Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 were much, much higher earlier in the Earth’s history.”

The brief further notes that, “The science of the Endangerment Finding is, in fact, hotly disputed among scientists. Moreover, legislative efforts to impose CO2 regulation have failed to pass Congress for several years, regardless of party control. That indicates Congress sees some scientific justification for not imposing such regulation.”

“The EPA’s CO2 regulation would all add up to an immense impact on our economy,” the brief says. “Yet, under the decision of the court below, all of this would be imposed on our economy without peer review, through politically correct decision making, rather than based on established, peer reviewed science.”

Click here to download the brief.