Blog Archive

Friday, December 19, 2008

Outgoing EPA Administrator, Stephen Johnson, and his immoral ban on regulating CO2 as a greenhouse gas

[BLOGGER'S NOTE: I am back to considering that public humiliation would be a just punishment for the immoral acts of people like current EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, who should be put in stocks in a public place where people could throw rotten vegetables and eggs at him, and a billboard should be erected in his hometown with photos of this.]

New ban imposed on regulating global warming gases

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bush administration is trying to make sure in its final days that federal air pollution regulations will not be used to control the gases blamed for global warming.

In a memorandum sent Thursday, outgoing Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson sets an agency-wide policy prohibiting controls on carbon dioxide emissions from being included in air pollution permits for coal-fired power plants and other facilities.

The decision could give the agency a legal basis for issuing permits that increase global warming pollution until the incoming Obama administration can change it, a process that would require a lengthy rulemaking process.

"The current concerns over global climate change should not drive EPA into adopting an unworkable policy of requiring emissions controls," Johnson writes. And while the administrator acknowledged public interest in the issue, he writes that "administrative agencies are authorized to issue interpretations of this nature that clarify their regulations without completing a public comment process."

The White House has repeatedly said that the Clean Air Act should not be used to regulate carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases, even though an April 2007 Supreme Court decision determined that the EPA could do so under the law. But that hasn't stopped environmentalists from trying.

The Thursday memo from Johnson was an attempt to clarify the agency's position after an appeals board in November rejected a federal permit for a Utah power plant putting the fate of scores of coal-burning power plants and other industrial facilities in limbo.

In that case, the judges said the EPA did not make a strong enough case for not requiring controls on carbon dioxide, the leading pollutant linked to global warming. Environmentalists had challenged the permit saying that law makes clear that greenhouse gas emissions can be controlled.

Environmentalists on Thursday said the EPA's memo would allow power plants to be approved that increase greenhouse gas emissions. They also said the ruling would tie the hands of President-elect Barack Obama, who has said he wants heat-trapping gases to be regulated.

"What you have is a midnight declaration that is designed by edict to rewrite EPA's regulations to say categorically carbon dioxide can never be considered in permitting a new coal plant," said Vickie Patton, an attorney with the Environmental Defense Fund.

But EPA spokesman Jonathan Shradar said the opinion simply codifies existing agency policy.

"It had been the unspoken policy of the agency," Shradar said. "All it does is put into policy what the agency has done for 30 years."

Representatives of the electricity generators said Thursday that the EPA once again made the right choice. Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Council, an association of power companies, said if agency determined Clean Air Act could be used to place limits on carbon dioxide, many other sources would have to get permits under the law.

Segal said that if the EPA had made a different interpretation the results would have been catastrophic for the economy and the environment.

Link to article:


Unknown said...

Strange that Shrader would talk about codifying '30 years of EPA policy'. In 1998, the Clinton administration classified it as a pollutant and subject to the Clean Air Act. Five years later, the Bush Administration reversed that declaration. What Bush did here was poison the well on the way out to prevent another reclassification. Maybe he wants history to judge him before the cleanup begins. Now where's that shoe ...

Anonymous said...

There may well come a day when these acts will be classified as "crimes against humanity."

I fully agree with Hansen in this regard.

Prosecute these people.

jblethen said...

EPA has yet to make an endangerment finding on CO2. The period for comments on it's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) ended November 28. A decision (yes or no on endangerment) won't be made until next year. EPA doesn't regulate substances for which an endangerment finding has not been made. This is long-standing and sound EPA policy. Without such a policy EPA would regulate everything. The EPA Appeals Board panel decision last month violated this sound policy, hence Johnson's memo. Chill.

Anonymous said...


I looked at your blog, and you are an incredible fool promoting junk science about the sun's effect on climate.

You needn't come back to this blog again because junk science will be deleted.

jblethen said...

My, how open minded and tolerant you are. Since you refuse to rebut what I said and just call me names and delete me I'll post here

Anonymous said...

I am extremely open-minded and tolerant, but you are just plain stupid.

jblethen said...

You're definitely extreme, all right. What I wrote about the EPA is true and you don't respond to it, just call me names. Not very convincing.

Anonymous said...

Extreme I am not. Anyway, anyone can look at your blog and see for themselves whether or not you really know what you are talking about.

EPA Administrator Johnson has done many things during his tenure that are worthy of putting him in stocks -- this was just the latest example.

jblethen said...

OK, so you won't (or can't) respond to the substance of what I wrote about EPA and want to continue namecalling. Hey, it's your blog, do what you want, but don't expect anyone to believe you as long as you evade, namecall, and avoid.

Anonymous said...

Junk science is not open for rebuttal.

If you want to learn something, go to RealClimate and discuss the science with them.

However, I doubt that you wish to learn anything at all, so please don't go there and waste their time as they have better things to do.