The Urgency of Revoking the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Endangerment Finding

Alan Carlin | January 27, 2017

The Trump Administration has been rolling out Executive orders on a daily basis to implement many of President Trump’s campaign promises. These include a number of orders related to environmental and energy policy. But possibly because Trump never made any promises related to revoking the USEPA Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Endangerment Finding (EF), there has been no public announcement of any proposed EPA action on this, the most critical step needed to bring sanity back to climate policy. Even if all of the climate-related EPA regulations promulgated by Obama are revoked or otherwise changed, more such regulations can be promulgated in the future as long as the GHG Endangerment Finding remains in effect.

So the thing to watch is whether EPA makes any move to revoke the Finding. Although the revocation of a number of the EPA climate regulations is a gook first step, only if and when EF revocation occurs can the profound risks posed by climate alarmism be said to have passed in the US. As discussed previously, the risks arise not from the alleged climate change fears raised by the climate alarmists but rather from their ill-founded, useless, and horrendously expensive measures to reduce human carbon dioxide (CO2emissions. This has always been the only serious risk and what must be avoided if the US and the developed world is to have a prosperous future that will allow humans to have access to the fossil fuel-generated energy needed for continued economic progress and improved human welfare and if plants are to not to lose partial access to one of their basic nutrients.

I have previously described one possible route to encouraging USEPA to undertake such an EF revocation that I have been involved in. But there are many others depending on the arguments used to invalidate the current EF. Although my name is included as one of the authors of the TSD for the present EF, apparently for historical reasons (explained here), there are many reasons why I believe it should be revoked as soon as possible. The reasons I used are explained in the letter I co-signed last fall, but many others can be found in my book, Environmentalism Gone Mad, as well as numerous previous posts on this blog.

EPA’s Three Lines of Evidence

The basis for the EPA’s GHG Endangerment Finding is their three lines of evidence, as found in the EPA EF Technical Support Document (page 47):

    The attribution of observed climate change to anthropogenic activities is based on multiple lines of evidence. The first line of evidence arises from the basic physical understanding of the effects of changing concentrations of GHGs, natural factors, and other human impacts on the climate system. The second line of evidence arises from indirect, historical estimates of past climate changes that suggest that the changes in global surface temperature over the last several decades are unusual (Karl et al, 2009). The third line of evidence arises from the use of computer-based climate models to simulate the likely patterns of response of the climate system to different forcing mechanisms (both natural and anthropogenic).

So citizens who pay electricity bills or are otherwise adversely affected by the EF and wish to encourage revocation can petition the USEPA to do so, preferably using evidence that EPA’s three lines of evidence are invalid.