Monday, September 11, 2006

EPA Amnesia

Apparently, the Environmental Protection Agency claims it doesn't have the authority to um... Protect the umm... Environment...


From the online news section of Nature.

In yet more Bush Administration shenanigans, the EPA in 2003 decided it didn't have the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles. Now twelve states have brought a suit against the EPA all the way to the Supreme Court in a case affectionately known as "Massachusetts v. EPA".

But in August 2003, under the Bush Administration, the EPA reversed its stance, claiming that it did not have authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. And it stated that if it did have the authority, it would choose not to regulate emissions.

Let's play detectives and like good detectives we should follow the money trail. Who would stand to benefit from a lack of regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles?

Lessee. Automakers and BIG OIL, perhaps? Color me shocked.

The Supremes agreed to hear the case this past June, and parties are filing their briefs now, with the EPA expected to make their filings in October. The case is expected to be decided in '07.

The EPA doesn't dispute that carbon dioxide is playing a role in climate change, just whether or not it has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases. The EPA isn't obliged to regulate all atmospheric gases under its remit; usually just those considered an "endangerment to public health and the environment". The plaintiffs would like the court to rule both that the EPA has authority, and that it must apply this rule in deciding whether to regulate.

My questions are rather simple. Exactly which part of "Environmental Protection" doesn't the EPA understand? Or does EPA now stand for "Embrace the President's Asininity"?

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