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Obama Urges Court to Vacate AGW Decision. I Smell a Rat (or Two!)

August 31, 2010
Marlo Lewis
8/30/2010

This tactic points in only one direction: allowing an EPA power grab

Last week, in a brief filed on behalf of six large electric power producers, the Obama administration urged the Supreme Court to vacate an appeals court decision (State of Connecticut et al. v. American Electric Power et al.) that would allow states and other parties to sue coal-burning electric utilities for their alleged contribution to global warming-related “injuries.”

The brief clearly lays out the absurdities of attempting to regulate greenhouse gases via public nuisance litigation. Yet the brief stops short of reaching the obvious conclusion implied by its argument, namely that climate policy is a “non-justiciable political question.” Instead, it advises the Supreme Court to direct the court of appeals to reassess its decision on “prudential” grounds.

I smell a rat. The administration, I suspect, does not want the Court to rule that the political question doctrine precludes tort litigation against CO2-emitters, because it wants the only solid, durable shield for industry to be the EPA’s “displacement” of common-law injury claims via the agency’s endangerment rule and ensuing regulatory cascade under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

In other words, just as the administration used the endangerment rule to try and spook Congress and industry into supporting cap and trade, it is now using CO2 tort litigation to try and spook them into supporting — or at least not aggressively attacking — EPA regulation of greenhouse gases via the Clean Air Act.

And now… the rest of the story. …..

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