While the DC Court of Appeals has just ruled in favor of the Obama Administration in rejecting challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency's rules concerning carbon dioxide emissions from cars and light trucks (the so-called "tailpipe emissions standards"), Senior Fellow Patrick J. Michaels believes the larger battle is still to come:
"On June 25, the public comment period for the EPA's proposed regulations on coal-fired power plants ended," said Michaels. "After thorough review, I found that the report from the U.S Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), which served as the source for the scientific opinions underlying the original endangerment finding in 2010, is unrepresentative of the larger body of scientific research on the topic of anthropogenic climate change and its potential impacts on the United States."
Michaels, working with a team of experts and scientists, assembled an addendum to the USGCRP report, which they submitted as comments on June 22.
"Our review represents the most comprehensive scientific critique of the EPA Endangerment Finding on coal-fired plants ever written, and directly counters their claims on how climate change impacts in the United States, using a much more exhaustive survey of peer-reviewed science than the EPA relied upon," said Michaels.
Michaels also cautions against relying too much on static reports in rulemaking on climate change.
"No static report can provide long-term guidance as to the nature of climate change and its impacts, as this field is constantly evolving under the weight of new scientific findings. Consequently, it is imperative that the EPA reassess the current scientific understanding on at least an annual basis," said Michaels.
The EPA is expected to finalize regulations regarding emissions from coal-fired plants later this year.