Good news: Court of Appeals tells the EPA to keep reducing global warming pollution
I feel like today’s rulings were a victory for my kids’ future. Thanks to the EPA for its important work and to the Court of Appeals for today’s dose of good news and hope.
By Jessica Finn Coven
Good news! Today
the U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously upheld previous rulings protecting our
clean air and reducing global warming pollution. First, the Court upheld
the EPA’s scientific finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public
health and welfare (known as the Endangerment Finding). In its finding, the
Court strongly stated that EPA had conducted a thorough scientific review of climate
change and climate impacts saying, "This is how science works. EPA is not
required to re-prove the existence of the atom every time it approaches a
This couldn’t possibly be a clearer affirmation that the EPA did its job in reviewing the science of climate change and that the time to question the scientific merits of efforts to reduce global warming pollution is over. Today’s finding continues: “To recap, EPA had before it substantial record evidence that anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases ‘very likely’ caused warming of the climate over the last several decades. EPA further had evidence of current and future effects of this warming on public health and welfare. Relying again upon substantial scientific evidence, EPA determined that anthropogenically induced climate change threatens both public health and public welfare. It found that extreme weather events, changes in air quality, increases in food- and water-borne pathogens, and increases in temperatures are likely to have adverse health effects.”
Next, the Court upheld EPA’s right to use the Endangerment Finding that greenhouse gases pose a danger to human health to regulate emissions from vehicles via the Clean Car Standards that establishes ghg limits for cars and light trucks. These standards will increase fuel efficiency, saving consumers money at the gas pump and decreasing our dependence on foreign oil. Oregon and Washington were two of the states to adopt cleaner car standards to pressure the federal government to take action. Both states intervened in the case before the Court, supporting EPA’s car standards.
Finally, the Court dismissed efforts to prevent the EPA from using its tools to implement ghg regulations from power plants (the Tailoring and Timing Rules). These common sense rules are designed to actually make ghg reductions easier for regulated industries.
It’s time for industries to stop challenging EPA’s findings and instead figure out how to increase efficiency and reduce their emissions. The science is clear, the time for action is now and the EPA is the agency tasked with protecting the health of the American people by ensuring we have clean air. That’s why more than two million Americans recently submitted public comments supporting EPA’s proposed global warming pollution standards for power plants.
I know that as a mother of a two year old with another baby on the way, I feel like today’s rulings were a victory for my kids’ future. Thanks to the EPA for its important work and to the Court of Appeals for today’s dose of good news and hope!