Author: Luke Wake
Last month the EPA finalized its Endangerment Finding for greenhouse gases, concluding that the continued emission of greenhouse gases poses a threat to human health and welfare. Central to this conclusion was EPA’s reliance on data implicated in an on going scandal, which has been dubbed "climate-gate" in the popular media. The Endangerment Finding opens the door for EPA to impose stringent regulation on greenhouse gases, which will have a signifigant impact on the national economy.
On Friday, PLF submitted an official petition for reconsideration of the Endangerment Finding on the ground that new revelations, brought to light in the scandal, have called into question the validity of EPA’s conclusions.
EPA rests its Endangerment Finding on climate change science which has been called into question by leaked internal emails and documents from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU). The emails and documents indicate that the very scientists working on the CRU data may have had serious doubts about the validity of their work. These emails and documents may be interpreted as suggesting that the CRU data was falsified or manipulated. Although PLF does not take a position as to whether or not the data was falsified or manipulated, PLF argues in its petition for reconsideration that EPA should re-open the public comment period and submit the data for further review in order to give an adequate assurance of the validity of its conclusions. Simply put, the emails and documents raise questions of central relevance to the Endangerment Finding, and therefore EPA is required, under the Clean Air Act, to reconsider.