arise, and strict offset requirements could mean a permanent scaling down of industry in the U.S.Businesses forced to limit their emissions in the U.S. will simply move to other nations whichhave much less substantial environmental standards than the United States, and will continue toemit. The leakage of these emissions will virtually ensure that domestic “greenhouse” gasconcentrations will not improve, since the standards in the developing world are much lessstringent than in the U.S. Regulation of “greenhouse” gases under the CAA could thereforeresult in economic chaos with little, if any, actual benefit to the environment.If EPA persists in believing that emissions of carbon dioxide impact the global climate, it can stillfocus attention on this issue while satisfying its obligations under
, by choosingnot to undertake a finding of endangerment for motor vehicles. Under
, EPA mayrefuse to undertake an endangerment finding if it provides a reasonable explanation as to why itcannot or will not do so. The regulatory cascade described in these comments was notconsidered by EPA, the Supreme Court or Congress until now. The widespread economicdevastation in the private sector, not to mention the unprecedented strain on federal and stateagency resources, caused by the CAA’s regulatory cascade is more than reasonable enough anexplanation for declining to find endangerment. Moreover, many of the efforts EPA would taketo address motor vehicle emissions have been superseded by the Energy Independence andSecurity Act (P.L.110-140), a law enacted after the Court decided
.By choosing not to undertake a finding of endangerment on these grounds, EPA can meet its
obligations while also protecting the fragile American economy. Policy decisionsrelating to climate change should be made by Congress, not by EPA through regulations issuedunder decades-old, incompatible CAA programs.
Massachusetts v. EPA
allows EPA to decline to regulate so-called“greenhouse” gases on “reasonable” policy-based grounds.
Contrary to popular belief,
mandate a finding of endangerment.In fact, it does quite the opposite.The case began in 1999, when the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA) and19 other groups filed a petition with EPA seeking regulation of “greenhouse” gases from newmotor vehicles under Section 202(a)(1) of the CAA. That provision reads, in pertinent part:The Administrator shall by regulation prescribe (and from time to time revise) inaccordance with the provisions of this section, standards applicable to theemission of any air pollutant
from any class or classes of new motor vehicles or new motor vehicle engines
, which in his judgment cause, or contribute to, air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.42 U.S.C. § 7521(a)(1).EPA denied the ICTA petition on August 8, 2003. EPA provided the following reasons for itsdenial: