March 2, 2010

Has EPA reached a ‘critical mass’ in Endangerment Finding Challenges?

By Has EPA reached a ‘critical mass’ in Endangerment Finding Challenges?

Author:  Luke A. Wake

Since filing our petition for reconsideration of EPA’s Endangerment Finding for Greenhouse Gases, there has been a good deal of buzz in Washington over how EPA will respond. We have received numerous emails from major firms and groups interested in challenging the Endangerment Finding, and it appears EPA is now defending its Endangerment Finding against eight other petitions for reconsideration, and seventeen petitions for judicial review. In the face of these diverse challenges, it will be difficult for EPA to ignore our petition, because we set forth a compelling argument that the controversy surrounding the Endangerment Finding could be put to rest simply by reopening the public comment period.

Much of the controversy surrounding the Endangerment Finding is based upon questions arising out of a scandal which implicates a large segment of the data upon which EPA relied. Last fall, leaked emails and documents appeared on the web, which seem to call into question global warming data from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit. This has sparked a great deal of controversy, and EPA’s failure to allow for public comment in light of these revelations has left a cloud of doubt hanging over the entire Endangerment Finding.

EPA could demonstrate its commitment to open government and quell public concerns over the Endangerment Finding, by simply reopening the public comment period to allow interested parties the opportunity to voice their concerns. Yet we will have to wait to see whether EPA will take these petitions seriously.

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