EPA Deadline Arrives

By June 23, 2009Global Warming

Energy and Environment Daily reports that House Democratic leaders last night released a revised, 1,201-page energy and global warming bill, and the floor debate is now expected Friday.

But first things first: Today’s is the deadline for commenting on the EPA proposed endangerment finding that would allow regulation of carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act. Congress never intended the Clean Air Act to serve as the means to regulate all human activity, but here it comes.

And here come the attorneys. From Glenn Lammi, Washington Legal Foundation, in U.S. News and World Report, “EPA Climate Change Ruling Would be a Stimulus for Lawyers–And No One Else“:

A formal government proclamation that greenhouse gases are a threat to public health and welfare, and are thus subject to the Clean Air Act, is a dream come true for plaintiffs’ lawyers and litigious professional activists. Up to now, litigation has thus far, thankfully, played a minor role in addressing climate change. Courts have largely rebuffed lawsuits by state attorneys general alleging that greenhouse gas emitters were a “public nuisance.” (A $400 million nuisance and conspiracy suit filed against 23 energy companies by an entire Alaskan village remains undecided.)

But the slow drip of climate change lawsuits is about to become a deluge, drowning the judiciary and thousands of businesses, in a tsunami of litigation.

Swiss Re, a leading insurance company, recently opined that global warming suits will explode and expand faster than asbestos litigation. The EPA’s endangerment finding will be cited in countless class actions and other suits alleging that productive economic activity caused health problems or led to damaging heat, flooding, drought, wildfires, or the spread of pathogens.

As Glenn suggests: Green jobs!

The NAM has a website devoted to the proposed finding, www.nam.org/epa.


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