Joe Richardson, Published March 07 2010
EPA must obey Supreme CourtCuriously, the Feb. 28 letter by Jerry Grosz lamenting the likely Environmental Protection Agency regulation of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, fails to mention that the EPA is acting in direct response to a ruling by the United States Supreme Court.
Perhaps Grosz is unfamiliar with the 2007 decision in Massachusetts, et al. v. Environmental Pollution Agency that forced the EPA to act. Twelve states, a number of cities and others brought suit against the EPA for taking the position that greenhouse gases did not fall under its Clean Air Act regulatory authority and, even if it did, the EPA had the discretion to regulate or not. The conservative U.S. Supreme Court ruled otherwise.
The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to regulate “any air pollutant” that can “reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare.” Massachusetts and the 11 other states were attempting to force the EPA to act on greenhouse gas emissions because those states felt not acting was a clear economic and security threat to their states, the nation and the world.
Clearly it is not the EPA that is going rogue. It is Congressman Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., in his effort to reach into the Clean Air Act and take back the EPA’s court-tested authority because some in North Dakota perceive the probable EPA action as being injurious to their industrial interests.
Rather than fight the inevitable constraints on greenhouse gas emissions, Pomeroy would do better to ensure that North Dakota is well-positioned to seize the opportunities that such constraints are likely to present.