EPA rejects petitions challenging GHG endangerment finding

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, July 30 -- The US Environmental Protection Agency rejected 10 petitions challenging climate science behind its Dec. 7, 2009, finding that greenhouse gases threaten public health and the environment, and therefore can be regulated under the federal Clean Air Act.

EPA ruled on July 29 against the petitions by the US Chamber of Commerce and other organizations that asserted a conspiracy invalidates findings by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the US National Academy of Sciences, and the US Global Climate Change Research Program were based on a conspiracy.

EPA said it found no evidence to support the claims, and that its several months of review showed that “climate science is credible, compelling, and growing stronger,” it said in a statement. The agency issued its endangerment finding after the US Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that GHGs fit within the CEA’s definition of pollutants. It covers emissions of six gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride).

“The endangerment finding is based on years of science from the US and around the world,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. “These petitions—based as they are on selectively edited, out-of-context data and a manufactured controversy—provide no evidence to undermine our determination. Excess greenhouse gases are a threat to our health and welfare.”

‘Strong concerns’
Robin S. Conrad, executive director of the US Chamber of Commerce’s National Chamber Litigation Center, expressed disappointment over EPA’s decision, and said it would be appealed. “The US Chamber, policymakers, numerous trade groups, state governments, and businesses throughout the country have collectively raised strong concerns about the significant negative impact EPA’s endangerment finding will have on jobs and local economies,” she said.

The petitioners made four basic assertions which were rejected, EPA said. The first was that e-mails uncovered at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Evidence Unit showed evidence of a conspiracy to manipulate global temperature data. EPA said that its review of the messages “found this was simply a candid discussion of scientists working through issues that arise in compiling and presenting large complex data sets.” Four other independent reviews came to similar conclusions, it added.

The second assertion was that errors in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report called the entire body of work into question. EPA said that it was only able to confirm two of the alleged errors in a 3,000-page report, and that neither had no bearings on its endangerment finding.

A third assertion that certain studies were excluded from the IPCC report, making the report biased and unreliable, was incorrect since the studies actually were part of the report, according to EPA.

It said that the fourth assertion that new scientific studies refuting evidence supporting the endangerment finding was incorrect since it misinterpreted the studies’ results. “Contrary to their claims, many of the papers they submit as evidence are consistent with EPA’s finding,” the agency maintained. Other studies which the petitioners submitted were based on unsound methodologies, it added.

Decision welcomed
Environmental organizations applauded EPA’s latest decision. “Today, EPA took the US Chamber of Commerce and other climate deniers to school,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. “The evidence for the argument against the Endangerment Finding is simply not there. Nor is there support from the public for such claims.”

"There is clear and overwhelming scientific evidence that pollution is changing our climate,” said Kevin Curtis, director of the Alliance for Climate Protection. “This week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that climate change is ‘undeniable’ and the past decade was the warmest on record. EPA was right to uphold the finding that climate change is a real threat to human health.”

Jackson said, “Defenders of the status quo will try to slow our efforts to get America running on clean energy. A better solution would be to join the vast majority of the American people who want to see more green jobs, more clean energy innovation, and an end to the oil addiction that pollutes our planet and jeopardizes our national security.”

Conrad said the Chamber and other groups continue to support efforts to address climate change which help the US economy grow, increase domestic energy security, and improve the environment. “We continue to call for Congress to work through the legislative process, rather than having EPA misapply environmental statutes like the Clean Air Act, which was not created to regulate greenhouse gas emissions,” she said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

EIA: US oil output fell 50,000 b/d in May

07/07/2015 Total US crude oil production dropped 50,000 b/d in May compared with April and is expected to continue falling through early 2016 before growth re...

BLM approves ROW for Elko gas pipeline expansion project

07/07/2015 The US Bureau of Land Management’s Tuscarora, Nev., field office signed a decision record approving a right-of-way for Paiute Pipeline Co.’s (PPC) ...

Obama urged by IPAA president to lift ban on US crude exports

07/07/2015 Commending the administration for its actions allowing some condensate to be exported as a petroleum product, Independent Petroleum Association of ...

AER shuts in 16 Murphy Oil sites in Peace River region for noncompliance

07/07/2015 Alberta Energy Regulator said it has shut in or partially shut in 16 sites operated by Murphy Oil Co. Ltd. in the Peace River region. The sites wer...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent oil prices take dive on world oil oversupply concerns

07/07/2015 US light, sweet crude oil prices plummeted more than $4/bbl on the New York market July 6, marking a 5-month low, while Brent crude oil prices on t...

WAFWA: Aerial survey finds lesser prairie chicken population grew

07/06/2015 A recent range-wide aerial survey found the lesser prairie chicken population rose 25% from 2014 to 2015, the Western Association of Fish & Wil...

Buru awarded onshore Canning licenses

07/06/2015 Buru Energy Ltd., Perth, and Mitsubish Corp. have been granted two production licenses for Ungani oil field in the onshore Canning basin of Western...

Cenovus sells royalty business for $3.3 billion

07/06/2015 Cenovus Energy Inc., Calgary, inked an agreement to sell its wholly owned subsidiary Heritage Royalty LP to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for gros...

CERI: Energy, operational efficiencies possible in Canadian oil, gas

07/06/2015 Measures can be taken by operators in the expanding resource-intensive Canadian oil and gas sector to improve both energy efficiency and operationa...
White Papers

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

On Demand

OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Predictive Analytics in your digital oilfield - Optimize Production Yield and Reduce Operational Costs

Tue, Jul 7, 2015

Putting predictive analytics to work in your oilfield can help you anticipate failures, plan and schedule work in advance, eliminate emergency work and catastrophic failures, and at the same time you can optimize working capital and improve resource utilization.  When you apply analytic capabilities to critical production assets it is possible to reduce non-productive time and increase your yield.

Learn how IBM's analytics capabilities can be applied to critical production assets with the goal of reducing non-productive time, increasing yield and reducing operations costs.

register:WEBCAST


Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected