Greg Abbott Hits and Misses on Greenhouse Gas Challenge Before Supreme Court

Categories: Biz, The Courts

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Gubernatorial hopeful and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott probably won't get a chance this time around to roll back every meaningful regulation that curbs carbon-dioxide emissions -- the gas driving climate change -- but he will take a shot at a significant one.

The high court announced Tuesday that it would not hear appeals from Texas and other states and industry organizations challenging EPA rules that regulate carbon emissions from vehicles. Nor would it hear arguments challenging the agency's characterization of carbon dioxide as a threat to public health. It did, however, agree to consider a much narrower issue: Whether federal limits on greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources like power plants, considered the most prolific emitters of carbon dioxide, are permitted under the Clean Air Act. The implications for an industry that used coal to generated 42 percent of the country's electricity in 2011 are huge.

The issue is a complicated one. In a 5-4 decision in 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the EPA could set fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles. The high court concluded that the Clean Air Act should be flexible enough to allow the agency to take into account developments in our understanding of how human activity impacts the natural world. In that case, was the EPA correct in determining that the decision also triggered regulation of sources of carbon pollution that don't move?

EPA has already proposed regulation that would set strict new emissions standards for new power plants.

As is usually the case, both sides are already framing the court's announcement in their own ways. "The EPA violated the U.S. Constitution and the federal Clean Air Act when it concocted greenhouse gas regulations out of whole cloth," Abbott said in a statement. "The EPA's illegal regulations threaten Texas jobs and Texas employers. As Texas has proven in other lawsuits against the EPA, this is a runaway federal agency, so we are pleased the Obama Administration will have to defend its lawless regulations before the U.S. Supreme Court."

The Natural Resources Defense Council says the high court "struck a forceful blow against climate change" when it declined to re-litigate the question of whether carbon dioxide presents a threat to the planet and, thus, to humans.

Either way, it's another feather in Abbott's cap, earned during his long-standing war with the EPA.

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18 comments
Catbird
Catbird

The trees love CO2...is that bad?

ebailey75057
ebailey75057

My lungs thank you Mr Abbott.  Guess your picture of Texas will resemble something like what China is going through with their pollution.  Higly profitable but with the inability to see further than 50 yards due to the smog you fought so hard to bless us with... I understand your committment to the people who have lined your pockets and probably will buy you the Governor's position.  But please think of us lowly citizens who have to actually breath the air.  

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

"meaningful regulation that curbs carbon-dioxide emissions -- the gas driving climate change"

This “extremely likely” was ratcheted up from “very likely” they claimed in the IPCC's previous 2007 report. At the same time, the IPCC actually admitted that its 2007 report estimate of greenhouse gas influence had been significantly exaggerated.  One can only wonder how they have become more confident that at least more than half of the temperature rise since the mid-20th century has been caused by greenhouse gas emissions, when at the same time they are less certain about climate sensitivity to CO2.

Making life even more difficult for that climate cartel is having to explain why the global climate has flat-lined over at least the past 16 years despite increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, something they euphemistically refer to as a “pause”.

EPA Mandates That New Coal Plants Prevent Nonexistent Climate Problem With Unavailable Solution

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

As Professor of Meteorology Dr. Richard Lindzen at MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences observed, “The latest IPCC report truly sank to the level of hilarious incoherence – it is quite amazing to see the contortions the IPCC has to go through in order to keep the international climate agenda going.”

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @ebailey75057 Support fracking.  Lower natural gas prices will lead to coal plants being brought offline as uneconomical.

Or, you could just stop running your AC and help the environment that way.  Just remember, nothing is more ecologically friendly than suicide!

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@holmantx Climate scares are the ideal cause for those who support a nanny-state.  There is no individual accountability for climate change, it is all due to "big industry" (being all industries except the one employing the specific complainer) or to humanity as a whole.  The climate is too big for one person to affect, and too big for one person to fix, so they get their collective, big government action that they are always clamoring for as well.  Meanwhile, the climate change coalition's Prophet, Al Gore, lives in a home that uses more energy than 1/2 of the town it is situated in, flies on private charter jets, and drives SUV's the size of small locomotives.  Oh, and he supports all this terrible expense by trading carbon credits on the market he created to capitalize on the collective climate panic he also helped to create.

Remember, not even 40 years ago, the climate was cooling, we were headed into an ice age, and THE SAME THINGS WERE CAUSING THE COOLDOWN THAT ARE CAUSING THE WARMUP!  I would guess the proper term for Climate Change should just be Climate.

ebailey75057
ebailey75057

Anybody can waltz up a mouthpiece for either supporting their own cause or disapproving someone elses.  Whats the point?

ebailey75057
ebailey75057

Do us all a favor Phelps and lead the way.

fracquestions
fracquestions

@everlastingphelps @ebailey75057 As usual, you don't have a clue about frac'ing. For a fact, natural gas burns cleaner than coal, BUT the extraction and delivery processes produce far more hazardous greenhouse gases that are far more harmful to the environment. methane is 70-105 times more potent as a greenhouse gas over 20 years and 20-35 times more potent over 100 years as carbon dioxide from burning coal.

There is just no way that any intelligent person could or would claim that natural gas will lead to a cleaner environment. But, the everlasting one has no problem making that false claim!

ebailey75057
ebailey75057

I can't recall the mini Ice Age of 1973, can anyone else remember that occurance?

fracquestions
fracquestions

@ebailey75057 Phelps is an idiot. He is most likely a paid stooge for the oil and gas industry and he is too stupid to recognize the damage he does to their cause.

ebailey75057
ebailey75057

With no vested interest in the subject being discussed why did you blog on this subject in the first place?  Just like to read your own typing?

fracquestions
fracquestions

@everlastingphelps @fracquestions The truth and facts never matter to you anyway, so why bother sending a cite. It is a verifiable fact that has already been widely published in numerous scientific journals and clearly stated by many environmental scientists whom you already disbelieve because what they say contradicts your dogma.

You are truly an idiot who argues without a factual basis for anything he says and I feel compelled to call you out for your blatant lies.

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