Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 08:05:40 AM EST
From The Register:
The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear the arguments in the case of Massachusetts vs the Environmental Protection Agency.
The suit, brought by Massachusetts and eleven other states, along with a few cities and environmental lobby groups, accuses the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of failing to regulate CO2 emissions from motor vehicles.
The legal action was brought after the EPA denied a petition asking it to intervene and set limits on vehicle emissions in 2002. It argued that it had no obligation to regulate CO2 emissions. It must oversee gases that represent an "endangerment to public health and the environment", but said that CO2 did not necessarily fall into this category.
Eighteen scientists filed a "friend of the court" brief arguing that the court had "misrepresented the findings in Climate Change Science", a 2001 report. The brief says the court used selective quotes from the report to suggest that the science on climate change is uncertain.
Professor John Dernbach of Widener University Law School's Harrisburg campus, one of the four lawyers who worked on the brief, told Patriot News: "EPA really blew the science" because it ignored the findings of the main scientific source it quoted.
While everyone has been watching the new Disney-fied 9/11 story, this has been creeping up as an issue under the radar.
Two interesting things:
Firstly, the fact that there seems to be almost complete radio silence about this is in the US. Apparently it takes a minor UK IT webzine to find a story that could potentially turn into an historical, even a constitutional issue in the US.
Secondly - while the blue states are making the running, it shows there's potentially some very healthy interest in these issues in the US. Take away the dead hand of Bush and the cronyfied EPA, and I wouldn't be surprised if there's enough momentum to make a change of direction very likely.
One to watch.