Mass. v. EPA and Coal: Johnson Gets Grilled 1

Posted by Warming Law Mon, 12 Nov 2007 21:32:00 GMT

(Cross-posted from Warming Law, which focuses on covering and analyzing the fight against global warming from a legal perspective. My name is Sean Siperstein, and I run Warming Law as part of my work for Community Rights Counsel, a non-profit, public interest law firm that assists communities in protecting their health and welfare. Follow the links for more info. about Warming Law; about CRC’s work and history; and for those truly curious, about me. Thanks for the opportunity to join the discussion; I really look forward to it!)

On Thursday, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) convened the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to delve into whether the EPA acted properly in approving a permit for a coal-fired power on tribal land in Utah—its first such decision since the Supreme Court’s determination that CO2 is an air pollutant—despite the continued opposition of several environmental groups. Readers can check out the committee’s website for complete video of the fireworks-filled hearing and all testimony.

The hearing’s central witness was EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, who testified that because EPA is still in the process of formulating regulations in response to Mass. v. EPA, CO2 is, for the time being, still not a "regulated pollutant" under the Clean Air Act—and thus, EPA "simply lacks the legal authority…to impose emissions limitations for greenhouse gas emissions on power plants."

Under intense questioning, Johnson continued to stand by his basic talking points, arguing again that EPA’s failure to regulate CO2 keeps it from even beginning to consider it in assessing proposed power plants. Reporting on the hearing, Ryan Grim of the Politico parses Johnson’s testimony and sees something beyond legal reasoning possibly at play here:

Johnson has a tight line to walk: He has to show that he’s in compliance with the Supreme Court ruling while not committing to doing too much. “I have to abide by the law as it’s written today,” Johnson says.

He also thinks that “we must continue to improve our knowledge of the science,” but promises that the EPA is “developing regulations to pursue it from a regulatory standpoint” using a “deliberative and thoughtful process.”

Democrats aren’t buying. “No, you’re not,” Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) tells him flatly. “You’re looking for any avenue you can to avoid doing it.” Several Democrats bring up the EPA’s long-running refusal to approve a waiver for California to enact its own carbon regulation scheme.

The primary argument against Johnson’s take was provided by David Doniger of the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), who asserted that EPA does have a mandate to move forward, and in doing so should have quickly concluded that new coal-fired plants ought not be approved without significant mitigation strategies. In doing so, Doniger cites several decisions by businesses and state regulators  indicating that concrete action is possible, and summarizes the four main arguments of environmental organizations’ latest formal comments objecting to EPA’s decision:   

  • As a result of the Supreme Court’s determination, in Massacuhsetts v. EPA, that the Clean Air Act is "unambiguous" on CO2’s status as a pollutant, CO2 is "plainly a ‘pollutant subject to regulation’ under the Act. This should trigger Section 165(a)(4) of the Act, which requires that the permit "include an emission limit reflecting the Best Available Control Technology (BACT) ‘for each pollutant subject to regulation.’"
  • Even putting aside the Court’s ruling, CO2 is already a "regulated" pollutant for this purpose under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, which require utilities to monitor, record and report CO2 emissions.
  • Even in the absence of a BACT limitation for CO2, Sections 165(a)(4) and 169(3) of the Clean Air Act require that EPA consider other environmental impacts during its BACT analysis for "conventional pollutants (such as sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides)"; this requirement should force consideration of global warming, which would certainly qualify as an important environmental consideration, yet EPA has "refused to undertake even this critical analysis in connection with issuing air permits for new coal plants."
  • Under Clean Air Act 165(a)(2), which deals with public comments, the agency is required to weigh comments on factors including air quality impacts, potential alternatives to the proposed plant, and control technology requirements; it also has the power to consider these factors even if they are not raised in public comments. Properly conducted, such a process would find a wide range of available alternatives to allowing conventional new coal plants, but yet again, EPA has failed to even conduct this analysis. 

Rep. Waxman also used the hearing to introduce legislation that would essentially settle the issue, creating a temporary moratorium on the approval of new coal-fired plants until EPA finshes developing its regulations .

Trackbacks

This article's trackback address

Comments

Leave a response

  1. meadc Wed, 08 Nov 2017 03:57:59 GMT
    Nike Free 5.0 moncler us spendless shoes australia Nike Air Max TN Homme pandora official site ugg outlet online store kate spade outlet store coach outlet online store handbags sale louis vuitton belgium Nike Hyperdunk Nike Air Max coach sale birkenstock outlet online sale Brighton Jewelry – Official goose outlet online sale Nike Schuhe Kleinkinder cartier watches for women Nike Free kate spade outlet bags store ray ban online store Black Friday Amazon Michael Kors Add Your Link Free louis vuitton on sale coach factory outlet quality Lunette Oakley Minute 2.0 pas cher rayban justin pandora rings jewelry kate spade bags on sale pandora bracelet Kaufen Nike Air Max 1 jordan shoes Nike Roshe Run Femme fulam shoes online coach australia mcm outlet online kate spade bags sale burberry outlet online store blog oakley frogskins michael kors outlet shop Air Max Homme kate spade outlet online sale kate spade online store Nike Dunk SB ray ban outlet online prada handbags kate spade michael kors uk michael kors factory outlet on sale Coach Handbags michael kors outlet sale online store puma sneakers sale coach outlet,coach handbags kate spade outlet sale birkenstock gizeh birko nba jerseys salomon hiking shoes Ray-Ban Sunglasses Nike Air Jordan Homme WebDesign Nike Hyperdunk Prada bags ups shipping prada outlet bags ralph lauren polo pandora bracelet charms michael kors handbags outlet sunglasses online kate spade new collection birkenstock sandals online Nike Dunk SB Low Doxycycline oakley sunglasses australia yeezy shoes 350 hermes bag sale black friday sales louis vuitton purse michael kors Nike Air Jordan Homme chaussures femme pas cher chaussures de sport michael kors uk online store Nike Schuhe Unisex Nike Air Jordan Enfant pandora rings uk pandora bracelet charms michael kors outlet online sale ray ban official prada site Nike Air Max Thea hot burberry sale puma sneakers pandora jewelry louis vuitton outlet online store oakley sunglasses michael kors outlet birkenstock sandals online sale michael kors bags outlet chrome hearts jewelry timberland boots outlet jimmy choo outlet online Nike Air Max 95 80’s,eighties fashion nike outlet online sale MIZUNO Shop US michael kors outlet online store puma online coach factory outlet online coach outlet kate spade outlet sale Ray Ban Outlet coach shoes for women ray ban sunglasses mlb store michael kors outlet online sale payless boots rolex mens watches ray ban sunglasses online store pandora bracelet ray ban australia sale Prada Shoes – Official leather hermes bag sale Nike Air Max jimmy choo outlet online store christian louboutin uk louis vuitton outlet online store michael kors outlet online Salomon Speedcross Shoes Wholesale womens autumn winter clothing yeezy boost 350 black Green Cleaned chaussure new balance femme Michael Kors Store kate spade canada michael kors outlet online sale michael kors online burberry outlet sale store rolex watches for sale coach carter Louis Vuitton belts pandora jewelry michael kors bags sale the beat Abercrombie Outlet burberry outlet payless shoes sale school bags Air Max 180 kate spade online outlet Nike Air Max 95 longchamp outlet online ray ban outlet ray ban australia chaussure nike femme prada bags outlet school bags pandora charms outlet michael kors australia online store pandora rings boulder shoes kate spade bags michael kors australia sale store pandora rings ugg boots on sale pandora charms uk store canada goose outlet online sale puma online sale coach factory jimmy choo uk online Nike Free online shoes,shoes online chanel bag Markenschuhe Jewelry Armoire – Official Air Jordan Retro 3 payless shoes store Nike Air Max BW Premier Jewelry. – Official jimmy choo shoes for sale black friday online sales mens sunglasses Hermes Belt ray ban outlet sale Air Jordan Running Nike Air Presto asics gel Diamond Rings – Official pandora uk official rayban Nike Lebron ST 2 Air Max LTD Femme Promise Rings – Official louis vuitton outle sale online michael kors outlet sale store michael kors outlet online shopping coach factory outlet kate spade black friday birkenstock outlet online store Nike TN Enfant business nike shoes ray ban erika polarized prada outlet online sale trazodone100mg pandora rings kanye west shoes sale online michael kors outlet online timberland boots sale louis vuitton shopping mall Coach Outlet pandora charms sale clearance Nike Roshe Run ray ban sale cheap ray ban sunglasses kate spade bags tiffany ray ban prescription glasses online outlet sale kate spade handbags online store kate spade uk store adidas yeezy shoes fun games to play birkenstock australia Jared Jewelry – Official prada outlet bags under armour outlet sale Coach Outlet Online, Coach Factory ray ban shop outlet Coach Sale Online Nike Blazers Mid michael kors outlet sale kate spade shopping store Jared Jewelry – Official Nike Free 7.0 polo online Nike Free Run Dreamland Jewelry – Official prada outlet Brighton Jewelry – Official Jordan Big Ups oakley outlet on sale Nike Air Max Tavas michael kors bags kate spade outlet for sale black friday offers Abercrombie Nederland kate spade bags Premier Jewelry – Official coach usa online Prada Wallet Nike Air Max Skyline coach factory outlet online sale men hermes belt for sale The Retail Compliance Association ray ban wayfarer michael kors online kate spade handbags michael kors outlet prada outlet online store Air Max Femme kate spade sale chrome hearts jewelry for men michael kors australia sale Nike Free jimmy choo shoes ray ban polarized burberry outlet online sale ray-ban aviator hermes outlet sale boots pandora online outlet escarpins michael kors handbags ray ban sunglasses black friday michael kors online store ray-ban glasses pandora charms nfl store prada online michael kors outlet sale store fake sunglasses online louis vuitton outlet birkenstock outlet Air Max TN Homme michael kors outlet online sale hermes bag ray ban outlet official michael kors moncler down jackets burberry scarf louis vuitton online store michael kors bags new pandora charms coach outlet online michael kors handbags Nike Roshe Run jimmy choo shoes store Nike Air Max coach outlet online store prada uk michele oakley sunglasses kate spade outlet online store ray ban sunglasses outlet puma shoes sale chrome store uk balenciaga outlet sale evbid Mizuno Wave michael kors official site Nike Air Max Lunar swatch watches for men snow boots hermes belt kit kate spade outlet online sale Prada Shoes – Official michael kors Air Max Lunar 90 timberland boots outlet sale mode damenschuhe jimmy choo australia online sale yeezy 350 jimmy choo shoes online tiffany hermes outlet bag Prada bags yeezy boost burberry bags online,burberry online store coach outlet store online pandora necklace for sale coach sale outlet michael kors outlet online sale Online Oyun Engagement Rings – Official omega mens watches kate spade outlet online store pandora earrings online sale Kevin Durant Shoes Prada Sunglasses – Official kate spade sunglasses online store kate spade online sale birkenstock sandals online sale oakley australia online sale am thuc kate spade outlet sale online store pandora charms outlet sale pandora jewelry New jordans Lisinopril 2.5 Mg Cost michael kors shop australia online store puma outlet black friday ads burberry bags outlet online store breitling mens watches China Manufacturers michael kors online sale Nike Air Max Thea Michael Kors Outlet Online louis vuitton bags on sale nike outlet north face sale ugg coach outlet online Air Max mk outlet kate spade online sale chrome hearts jewelry school bags Air Jordan Enfant puma outlet brand sunglasses pandora jewelry major league baseball Nike Air Jordan Homme kate spade oulet online sale ray ban sale jimmy choo heels online michael kors uk online store jimmy choo australia for sale michael kors australia store Coach Outlet Store pandora charms michael kors australia online store rayban sunglasses adidas verkauf Longchamp Outlet pandora charms Nike Schuhe clb shoes online michael kors shoes store puma outlet online sale michael kors outlet bags louis vuitton bags michael kors black friday on sale coach online Zales Jewelry store puma sneakers online jimmy choo outlet online rings.us” title=”Wedding Rings Official”>Wedding Rings- Official diesel mens watches pandora bracelets Nike Air Max rayban eyeglasses kate spade outlet gucci men watches ugg australia michael kors outlet store Nike Air Max 2016 Damen Oakley Sunglasses under armour stock coach handbags outlet pandora australia online sale trx sunglasses hut mk outlet online eznara.com coach factory outlet small business Wholesale Outlet Sale Dreamland Jewelry – Official michael kors bags online sale payless shoes online prada bags kate spade handbags ray ban sunglasses outlet puma suede online store louis vuitton outlet online nike huarache shoes ray ban sunglasses payless shoes outlet Air Max 95 Homme Nike Air Max 90 pas cher france Nike Air Max Thea payless shoes for sale ray ban clubmaster Nike Air Max Enfants oakley outlet online sale burberry outlet sale store Burberry Shirt – Official ray ban glasses frames kate spade outlet online store burberry outlet online store kay jewelry store Sunglasses for men michael kors oakley sunglasses online store pandora charms Air Max TN Homme Jordan Flight The Power louis vuitton united kingdom birkenstock canada outlet louis vuitton outlet ugg slippers online sale pandora rings uk under armour shoes sale Family Name Research timberland outlet sale 2017 Nike Air Max black friday deals rayban prescription louis vuitton online celine factory outlet Air Max Skyline Femme casio watches official site michael kors outlet online Jewelry Armoire – Official michael kors canada michael kors outlet sale yeezy boost 350 coach outlet store pandora princess ring Chanel bags Outlet moncler outlet ray ban wayfarer sunglasses burberry handbags kate spade outlet sale store Air Max TN timberland shoes online shoes online sale pandora bracelet louis vuitton bags mens seiko watches adidas yeezy boost 350 shoes Louis Vuitton Shop Online ugg boots sale puma shoes online Nike Air Jordan Hommes birkenstocks on sale Nike Free,Nike Shox burberry sale online Nike Air Force kate spade on sale louis vuitton online Michael Kors Handbags Outlet Sale michael kors bags sale coach purses Nike Roshe Run chrome hearts canda coach factory outlet coach factory outlet online sale Nike Air Force 1 burberry book bag mens moncler jacket Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet Nike Air Jordan Obat Pembesar Penis payless shoes near me pandora australia online store michael kors handbags kate spade purses sale kate spade handbags under armour sale moncler jackets Coach Sunglasses Outlet Nike Roshe Run Nike Air Max TN Pharmacy Discount Network louis vuitton skechers shoes store me adc11.8
Comments