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

Uganda taps Russian firm to build country’s first refinery

02/17/2015 The government of Uganda has selected a consortium led by Russia’s RT Global Resources, Moscow, as its first choice to construct the country’s firs...

Montana governor wants PHMSA to beef up pipeline enforcement in state

02/17/2015 Citing a Jan. 17 leak of 1,200 bbl of crude oil from a ruptured pipeline in eastern Montana, Gov. Steve Bullock (D) asked US Sec. of Transportation...

Derailed West Virginia oil train carried Bakken crude

02/17/2015

A large-scale cleanup and investigation have launched following the Feb. 16 derailment of a CSX crude oil train near Mount Carbon, W.Va.

Bear Head LNG exempted from 2012 Canadian environmental act

02/16/2015 Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd.’s wholly owned subsidiary Bear Head LNG Corp. received notice from the Canadian Environment Assessment Agency (CEAA) tha...

BLM decision clears way for first NPR-A federal oil production

02/16/2015 The US Bureau of Land Management issued a record of decision (ROD) for the proposed Greater Mooses Tooth One project (GMT1), which cleared the way ...

Northern Territory selects Inpex in bid for onshore exploration

02/16/2015 Australia’s Northern Territory government has selected Inpex Corp. for onshore oil and gas exploration in the Beetaloo basin, southeast of Darwin.

EPA offers new, twisted excuse to stall Keystone XL

02/16/2015 Anyone puzzled by the delay in approval of the Keystone XL pipeline border crossing-running 6 years now, and counting-should read the Obama adminis...

Oil-price collapse may aggravate producing nations' other problems

02/16/2015 The recent global crude-oil price plunge could be aggravating underlying problems in Mexico, Colombia, and other Western Hemisphere producing natio...

Real climate change

02/16/2015

"Climate change is real and not a hoax."

White Papers

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

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...
Available Webcasts


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

When 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



On Demand

Prevention, Detection and Mitigation of pipeline leaks in the modern world

Thu, Apr 30, 2015

Preventing, detecting and mitigating leaks or commodity releases from pipelines are a top priority for all pipeline companies. This presentation will look at various aspects related to preventing, detecting and mitigating pipeline commodity releases from a generic and conceptual point of view, while at the same time look at the variety of offerings available from Schneider Electric to meet some of the requirements associated with pipeline integrity management. 

register:WEBCAST


Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

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