A new study published by seasoned researchers takes aim at the heart of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to issue regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions.
The study claims to have “proven that it is all but certain that EPA’s basic claim that CO2 is a pollutant is totally false,” according to a press statement put out by Drs. Jim Wallace, John Christy and Joe D’Aleo.
Wallace, Christy and D’Aleo — a statistician, a climatologist and meteorologist, respectively — released a study claiming to invalidate EPA’s 2009 endangerment finding, which allowed the agency to regulate CO2 as a pollutant.
“This research failed to find that the steadily rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations have had a statistically significant impact on any of the 14 temperature data sets that were analyzed,” the authors say in the release for the second edition of their peer-reviewed work.
“Moreover, these research results clearly demonstrate that once the solar, volcanic and oceanic activity, that is, natural factor, impacts on temperature data are accounted for, there is no ‘record setting’ warming to be concerned about,” the researchers say. “In fact, there is no natural factor adjusted warming at all.”
The study is intended to bolster a petition Wallace and D’Aleo filed with EPA as part of the Household Electricity Consumers Council (CHECC), asking the agency to reconsider its endangerment finding.
The libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) also filed a petition with EPA to reconsider the endangerment finding. The Trump administration has not indicated whether or not they will reconsider the Obama-era finding. Any challenge would be met with legal action from environmental activists.
CHECC’s petition relies on findings from a 2016 study by Wallace and company that found the three lines of evidence EPA relied on for its 2009 endangerment finding weren’t scientifically sound.
Wallace’s new study makes a similar finding, arguing the “tropical hot spot” EPA claims will occur as humans pump more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere “simply does not exist in the real world.”
EPA issued its endangerment finding for six greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, in 2009. The agency found that greenhouse gases from vehicles “endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations.”
The finding gave the Obama administration the legal cover it needed to move forward with regulations to clamp down on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, power plants, industrial facilities and agriculture.
President Donald Trump issued an executive order in March to roll back many Obama global warming policies and directives, but some say the administration needs to eliminate the endangerment finding to keep future presidents from regulating CO2.
“Claims like that rest entirely on the endangerment finding,” said Sam Kazman, CEI’s general counsel.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told Congress during his January confirmation hearing he saw no reason at the time to review the endangerment finding.
Sources have also told news outlets Pruitt got Trump to strip language from an executive order that would have ordered a review of the endangerment finding.
On the other hand, sources familiar with Pruitt’s thinking on the matter say he wants to review the endangerment finding, but is biding his time.
Wallace and his coauthors want to give Pruitt a reason to update the endangerment finding. Wallace and company say in their release that “there is no published, peer reviewed, statistically valid proof that past increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations have caused the officially reported rising, even claimed record setting temperatures.”
“And, EPA’s climate models fail to meet this test,” the authors say.
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