Endangerment Finding Must Go

Endangerment Finding Must Go

As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007), the EPA issued its Endangerment Finding.

Endangerment Finding, December 2009:

“The [EPA] Administrator finds that the current and projected concentrations of the six key well-mixed greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)—in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.”

The Endangerment Finding is now the law of the land and compels regulation of GHG emissions.

Any action taken by the Trump administration to eliminate regulations requiring the cutting of CO2 and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will confront the Endangerment Finding in court as environmental groups challenge the administration’s efforts to eliminate regulations.

How this legal wrangling will play out in court is not entirely clear, but at the very least it will delay the efforts of this administration to implement its program for cutting regulations requiring reductions in GHG emissions.

The existence of the Endangerment Finding and the ensuing regulations are causing businesses to continue to implement plans to reduce GHG.

For example, the Wall Street Journal reported:

“Some of the biggest U.S. power companies are including climate change as a part of their corporate strategy.”

And, PNB Paribas, Chief Executive, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé wrote:

“These measures will lead us to stop financing a significant number of players that don’t further the transition toward an economy that emits less greenhouse gas.”

Worse yet, if the Endangerment Finding isn’t repealed, it will allow the next administration to reverse all the regulations that were eliminated by the Trump administration.

Failure to eliminate the Endangerment Finding will result in the United States being saddled with regulations requiring the cutting of GHG emissions.

It’s worth revisiting the Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade legislation, HR 2454, that passed in the House but failed in the Senate, and how it would have affected the lives of all American’s.

Waxman-Markey HR 2454, 6 inches thick of regulations

Waxman-Markey HR 2454, 6 inches thick of regulations

Here’s a brief sampling from the bill which is nearly 1500 pages long.

It should be noted that the bill gave extensive powers to various bureaucrats to impose additional rules supporting the cutting of CO2 emissions.

A look at one small facet of the legislation involving building codes and energy savings is instructive.

  • Waxman-Markey required new and “substantially renovated” (as defined by the federal government) commercial and residential buildings to achieve a total reduction in energy use of 70% by 2030.
  • It required states to adopt a national standard building code, removing this function from local jurisdiction.
  • The federal government would establish how to measure whether required reductions in energy use were achieved.
  • Government “inspectors” would tell local building contractors and architects how to change their designs to meet the national energy use reduction target.
  • State governments would have to certify to the federal government that at least 80% of its urban population was covered by the national code.
  • State compliance plans had to include the hiring of “enforcement staff” and impose a penalty on non-compliant residences, noting non-compliance in public records.

In addition, Waxman-Markey established similar overbearing rules for a plethora of products including light bulbs, searchlights, light fixtures, water dispensers, portable electric spas, warm air furnaces, faucets, toilets, clothes washers, shower-heads, and urinals, among others.

Paragraph (13) (B) (iii) demonstrated the unintelligible language contained in HR 2454 that would have required bureaucrats to clarify and implement their version of what was intended.

“The hydroelectric project installed on the dam is operated so that the water surface elevation at any given location and time that would have occurred in the absence of the hydroelectric project is maintained, subject to any license or exemption requirements that require changes in water surface elevation for the purpose of improving the environmental quality of the affected waterway.”

New bureaucracies would have been created such as the “Carbon Storage Research Corporation” and the “Clean Energy Deployment Administration.”

Everyone would have been affected negatively by Waxman-Markey where the federal government dictated how Americans lived.

While Waxman-Markey is dead, new and more ruthless regulations and bureaucratic interference in the lives of Americans will be inevitable if the Endangerment Finding is not repealed.

  • The war on coal will resume with a vengeance.
  • The war on natural gas will accelerate because natural gas is methane and methane is said to be a dangerous greenhouse gas.
  • Electricity costs will soar.
  • The poorest among us will be hurt the most.
  • And freedom will be lost as the government dictates how we live.

The Endangerment Finding must be repealed.

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