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Environment Expert on the EPA’s Endangerment Finding on CO2: ‘Vacate It’

The Environmental Protection Agency’s 2009 finding that carbon dioxide is a threat to public health should be removed from the federal register, Patrick Michaels, head of Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, said at the Heartland Institute’s 12th annual International Climate Change Conference on Thursday in Washington, D.C.

“I will tell you, not only is it doable as I think we will see, as Bob Dylan used to say, I think it can be very easily done,” Michaels said in his remarks.

Moreover, it is necessary to undo the finding to prevent climate-change advocates from mounting legal challenges preventing the implementation of any executive orders on EPA regulations issued by President Donald Trump.

“I assure you when the president announces that the Clean Power Plan is no longer in business the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund and every other tentacle of the green blob that you know will be in court petitioning a stay because of the endangerment finding,” Michaels said.

In 2007 the Supreme Court ruled that if the EPA found CO2 to be a pollutant, it could be regulated under the Clean Air Act. In 2009 the EPA determined that greenhouse gas emissions — including CO2 — endanger public health. The finding in the Federal Register said:

The Administrator finds that six greenhouse gases taken in combination endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations. The Administrator also finds that the combined emissions of these greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle engines contribute to the greenhouse gas air pollution that endangers public health and welfare under CAA [Clean Air Act] section 202(a). These Findings are based on careful consideration of the full weight of scientific evidence and a thorough review of numerous public comments received on the Proposed Findings published April 24, 2009.

Experts on a panel preceding Michaels said, in fact, that CO2 is good for plant life, and in turn, people and animals.

According to a study in the journal Nature Climate Change, the rise in CO2 levels has resulted in signifiant “greening” of the planet.

“From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25,” said the article posted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on its website in 2016. the NASA posting stated:

An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet’s vegetated regions. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.

Michaels cited the prophetic words of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, most famously remembered forhis coining of the phrase “military industrial complex” at the conclusion of his presidency.

But it is what Eisenhower said following his description of the military that Michaels said foretold of the politically correct science that has led to government-backed and politically correct science on CO2 and its role in EPA regulations.

“The free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research,” Eisenhower said. “Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.”

“Yet in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy would itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite,” Eisenhower wrote. “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations and power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.”

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