Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson (pictured) recently announced that her agency would proceed with twice-delayed regulations targeting power plants that emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
• The profusion of scientific dissent.
• The massive economic costs and minimal environmental benefits.
In April 2009, the EPA issued an endangerment finding stating that the gases pose a serious threat to human health and public safety. It provided a lengthy technical support document to justify this position.
But this September, the EPA’s Office of Inspector General released its own report concluding that the agency’s document failed to follow federal guidelines for a “highly influential scientific assessment.” Specifically, the EPA had failed to publicly report its review results. Moreover, one of the federal climate-change scientists reviewing the document was an EPA employee.
The EPA responded by arguing that the document did not qualify as “highly influential,” yet the agency offered it to justify one of the most expansive – and expensive – regulations in history. If that’s not highly influential, what is?
The inspector general’s report does not question the scientific validity of the endangerment finding. But disagreement among the scientific community regarding the magnitude of anthropogenic global warming should have been sufficient reason for the EPA not to issue the endangerment finding in the first place.
Excerpted from The Washington Times. Click here to read more.
Nicolas Loris is a Policy Analyst at The Heritage Foundation . http://www.heritage.org/ Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies. Loris researches and writes about energy, environment and regulation issues such as the economic impacts of climate change legislation, a free market approach to nuclear energy and the effects of environmental policy on energy prices and the economy.