From Dr. Roy Spencer, who says he received this via EPA’s email system. It isn’t on the EPA website yet, but I’m guessing their press office is running slow today due to the shock. However, it has been covered by the Washington Times who apparently got the same email. It was an “oral directive” since July.
Administrator Pruitt Issues Directive to End EPA “Sue & Settle”
“The days of regulation through litigation are over,” – EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt
WASHINGTON (October 16, 2017) – In fulfilling his promise to end the practice of regulation through litigation that has harmed the American public, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued an Agency-wide directive today designed to end “sue and settle” practices within the Agency, providing an unprecedented level of public participation and transparency in EPA consent decrees and settlement agreements.
“The days of regulation through litigation are over,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “We will no longer go behind closed doors and use consent decrees and settlement agreements to resolve lawsuits filed against the Agency by special interest groups where doing so would circumvent the regulatory process set forth by Congress. Additionally, gone are the days of routinely paying tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees to these groups with which we swiftly settle.”
Over the years, outside the regulatory process, special interest groups have used lawsuits that seek to force federal agencies – especially EPA – to issue regulations that advance their interests and priorities, on their specified timeframe. EPA gets sued by an outside party that is asking the court to compel the Agency to take certain steps, either through change in a statutory duty or enforcing timelines set by the law, and then EPA will acquiesce through a consent decree or settlement agreement, affecting the Agency’s obligations under the statute.
More specifically, EPA either commits to taking an action that is not a mandatory requirement under its governing statutes or agrees to a specific, unreasonable timeline to act. Oftentimes, these agreements are reached with little to no public input or transparency. That is regulation through litigation, and it is inconsistent with the authority that Congress has granted and the responsibility to operate in an open and fair manner.
“Sue and settle” cases establish Agency obligations without participation by states and/or the regulated community; foreclose meaningful public participation in rulemaking; effectively force the Agency to reach certain regulatory outcomes; and, cost the American taxpayer millions of dollars.
With today’s directive, Administrator Pruitt is ensuring the Agency increase transparency, improve public engagement, and provide accountability to the American public when considering a settlement agreement or consent decree by:
Publishing any notices of intent to sue the Agency within 15 days of receiving the notice;
Publishing any complaints or petitions for review in regard to an environmental law, regulation, or rule in which the Agency is a defendant or respondent in federal court within 15 days of receipt;
Reaching out to and including any states and/or regulated entities affected by potential settlements or consent decrees;
Publishing a list of consent decrees and settlement agreements that govern Agency actions within 30 days, along with any attorney fees paid, and update it within 15 days of any new consent decree or settlement agreement;
Expressly forbidding the practice of entering into any consent decrees that exceed the authority of the courts;
Excluding attorney’s fees and litigation costs when settling with those suing the Agency;
Providing sufficient time to issue or modify proposed and final rules, take and consider public comment; and
Publishing any proposed or modified consent decrees and settlements for 30-day public comment, and providing a public hearing on a proposed consent decree or settlement when requested.
The Obama EPA’s crooked prosecutors
The agency’s carbon dioxide climate “endangerment finding” was a kangaroo court process
Guest opinion by Paul Driessen
Suppose a crooked prosecutor framed someone and was determined to get a conviction. So he built an entire case on tainted, circumstantial evidence, and testimony from witnesses who had their reasons for wanting the guy in jail. Suppose the prosecutor ignored or hid exculpatory evidence and colluded with the judge to prevent the defendant from presenting a robust defense or cross-examining adverse witnesses.
You know what would happen – at least in a fair and just society. The victim would be exonerated and compensated. The prosecutor and judge would be disbarred, fined and jailed.
What you may not know is that the Obama EPA engaged in similar prosecutorial misconduct to convict fossil fuels of causing climate chaos and endangering the health and wellbeing of Americans.
EPA then used its carbon dioxide “Endangerment Finding” to justify anti-fossil fuel regulations, close down coal-fired power plants, block pipeline construction, and exempt wind and solar installations from endangered species rules. It put the agency in control of America’s energy, economy, job creation and living standards. It drove up energy prices, killed numerous jobs, and sent families into energy poverty.
EPA’s egregious misconduct inflicted significant harm on our nation. Having acted to repeal the Obama Clean Power Plan, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt must reverse carbon dioxide’s conviction and scuttle the Endangerment Finding that serves as the foundation and justification for the agency’s war on coal, oil and natural gas. Any harm from fossil fuels or carbon dioxide is minuscule, compared to the extensive damages inflicted by the decision and subsequent regulations.
President Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson took office determined to blame carbon dioxide for “dangerous” and “unprecedented” manmade global warming and climate change. They then used that preordained decision to justify closing coal-fired power plants and dramatically restricting fossil fuel use. Mr. Obama had promised to “bankrupt” coal companies. Ms. Browner wasted no time in decreeing that CO2 from oil, natural gas coal burning “endanger” human health and welfare. It was a kangaroo court.
Their Environmental Protection Agency did no research of its own. It simply cherry-picked UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports and wrote a Technical Support Document to make its case. The TSD ignored studies that contradicted its predetermined Endangerment Finding – and relied on circumstantial evidence of climate and extreme weather disasters generated by computer models.
The models were programmed on the assumption that rising atmospheric CO2 levels are the primary or sole factor determining climate and weather. They assumed more carbon dioxide meant more planetary warming and worsening climate chaos. The role of the sun, cosmic rays, changing ocean currents and numerous other powerful, interconnected natural forces throughout Earth’s history was simply ignored.
The models predicted steadily increasing global temperatures and more frequent and intense storms. Instead, even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continued to rise, except for a noticeable temperature spike during the 2015-2016 super El Niño, there has been no planetary warming since 1998. Harvey finally ended a record 12-year drought in Category 3-5 hurricanes making landfall in the USA.
Tornado deaths are far less frequent than in the 1950s. Floods and droughts differ little from historic trends and cycles. Antarctic land ice is at record highs, and Arctic sea ice is again within its “normal” levels for the past 50 years. Seas are rising at just seven inches per century, the same as 100 years ago.
The models also assumed more warming meant more clouds that trapped more heat. They ignored the fact that low-lying clouds trap heat but also reflect solar heat back into the atmosphere. Humans might be “contributing” to temperature, climate and weather events, at least locally. But there is no real-world evidence that “greenhouse gases” have replaced natural forces to cause climate chaos or extreme weather – and no evidence that humans can control Earth’s fickle climate by controlling emissions.
In fact, with every passing year, climate model temperature forecasts have been increasingly higher than those actually observed over most of the lower atmosphere.
The EPA approach amounted to saying, if reality conflicts with the models, reality must be wrong – or to deciding that real world evidence should be homogenized, adjusted and manipulated to fit model results.
Indeed, that’s exactly what EPA, the IPCC and other alarmist researchers have done. Older historic records were adjusted downward, modern records got bumped upward a bit, and government-paid scientists ignored satellite data and relied increasingly on measurements recorded near (and contaminated by) airport jet exhaust, blacktop parking lots, and urban areas warmed by cars, heating and AC vents.
The IPCC also claimed its referenced studies were all peer-reviewed by experts. In reality, at least 30% were not; many were prepared by graduate students or activist groups; and some of its most attention-getting claims (of rapidly melting Himalayan glaciers, for example) were nothing more than brief email messages noting that these were “possible” outcomes. Moreover, most IPCC peer reviewers were scientists who fervently promote catastrophic manmade climate change perspectives, receive government and other grants for writing reports confirming this thesis, and take turns reviewing one another’s papers.
Despite these inconvenient facts, a steady barrage of Obama EPA press releases and statements from alarmist regulators and “experts” insisted that fossil fuels were causing planetary cataclysms. Anyone who tried to present alternative, realistic data or views was ridiculed, vilified and silenced.
Even one of EPA’s most senior experts was summarily removed from the review team. “Your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision,” Alan Carlin’s supervisor told him.
Two additional facts dramatically underscore the kangaroo court nature of EPA’s 2009 proceedings.
First, oil, natural gas and coal still provide over 80% of America’s and the world’s energy. The International Energy Agency says they will be at least this important 25 years from now. Indeed, fossil fuels are the foundation for modern industries, transportation, communication, jobs, health and living standards. Emerging economic powerhouses like China and India, developing countries the world over, and even industrialized nations like Germany and Poland are using more of these fuels every year.
The Obama EPA studiously ignored these facts – and the tremendous benefits that fossil fuels bring to every aspect of our lives. Those benefits outweigh any asserted dangers – by orders of magnitude.
Second, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, as defined by the Clean Air Act – and was never listed in any legislation as a pollutant. It was turned into an alleged pollutant by dishonest, ideological EPA prosecutors, who needed to justify their anti-fossil fuel regulatory agenda.
In reality, carbon dioxide is the miracle molecule without which most life on Earth would cease to exist. It enables plants of all kinds to convert soil nutrients and water into the fibers, fruits and seeds that are essential to humans and animals. The more CO2 in the air, the faster and better plants grow, and the more they are able to withstand droughts, disease, and damage from insects and viruses. In the process, crop, forest and grassland plants, and ocean and freshwater phytoplankton, exhale the oxygen we breathe.
In rendering its endangerment decision, EPA ignored these incalculable CO2 benefits. It ignored experts and studies that would have provided vital information about the tremendous value to our planet and people from fossil fuels and carbon dioxide.
Finally, having a slightly warmer planet with more atmospheric CO2 would be hugely beneficial for plants, wildlife and humanity. By contrast, having a colder planet, with lesscarbon dioxide, would be seriously harmful for arable land extent, growing seasons, crops, people and wildlife habitats.
The EPA Endangerment Finding is the foundation for the Obama era Clean Power Plan and other rules. Reversing it is essential to moving forward with science-based energy and climate policies.
Alan Carlin: Climate Alarmism Is a Typical Scientific Scam but with Much More Serious Consequences
“It is time to bring climate alarmism-inspired reductions of CO2 to an end and use the vast resources devoted to it to solve the many unsolved problems that would actually benefit from their use rather than on a non-problem that government can do very little if anything about.”
TIME to divert the taxpayer trillions, wasted on fake fixes to a fake catastrophe, to solving *real* pollution problems.
TIME to stop demonising colourless, odourless, trace gas and plant food “Carbon Dioxide” of which man contributes 3% to nature’s 97%.
Alan Carlin argues here that ‘the main justifications offered for climate alarmism are expensive general circulation models, which cost taxpayers many billions of dollars but prove nothing except that garbage in results in garbage out.’ Meanwhile even more fortunes in public money are being spent chasing unattainable ‘climate’ goals.
Climate alarmism is an all too typical scientific scam replete with failure to follow the scientific method and many of the common illogical fallacies going back to Aristotle.
The difference is that its proponents have had almost infinite resources to sell their scam, especially taking into account the “free” media support supplied by the mainstream media.
But scam it nevertheless is since the scammers are benefitting from their efforts.
The consequences of successfully selling the scam in the US, as has occurred in Western Europe, are so large that the US economy would probably never recover its former growth and and resilience. There will always be more decarbonization that can be “achieved.”
Household income would grow little if any. Workers would be condemned to current real income or less for the indefinite future. Electricity would become increasingly unreliable and expensive, as in South Australia.
And without substantial economic growth real estate values and pension liabilities would become even more unsupportable than they already are.