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  • The Supremes Chill Global "Warming" Alarmists

    Common sense prevailed this morning when the Supreme Court dismissed a frivolous and novel global “warming” lawsuit. If you are a radical environmentalist, you know you are in trouble when a unanimous court rules against you and the opinion is written by none other than Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the most predictably liberal members of the Court.

    In American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut, eight states and several land trusts sued five of the largest American power companies, including the Southern Company and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The states included Connecticut, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin (although New Jersey and Wisconsin dropped out of the suit). The meritless suit was led by Connecticut’s former attorney general and now U.S. senator, Richard Blumenthal. Blumenthal et. al claimed that the carbon dioxide emissions of the companies’ power plants (which supposedly cause global warming) are a public nuisance that violate federal common law. They wanted a federal judge to set emissions standards.

    However, the Court had previously decided in Massachusetts v. EPA in 2007 that the Clean Air Act authorized federal regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency of carbon dioxide emissions. The passage by Congress of the Clean Air Act displaced federal common law. Thus, neither the states nor any other private party could bring a claim for relief under the federal common law theory of “public nuisance.”

    In a coherent and entirely rational argument that one does not always see from a liberal justice like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the opinion pointed out the fallacy of what the plaintiffs were trying to do – convince the federal courts to step into the role of environmental regulators and take the first stab at making complex scientific decisions: “Federal judges lack the scientific, economic, and technological resources an agency can utilize in coping with issues of this order.” If the states disagree with the emission standard that is eventually set by the EPA, then they can seek judicial review at that time.

    Justice Alito wrote a very short concurrence, joined by Justice Thomas, that consisted of just one paragraph. Alito joined in the judgment of the court, but did so “on the assumption (which I make for the sake of argument because no party contends otherwise) that the interpretation of the Clean Air Act adopted by the majority in Massachusetts v. EPA is correct.” In other words, Alito and Thomas were questioning what many have previously disputed – the erroneous conclusion of the Court that carbon dioxide is even a “pollutant” that is covered under the Clean Air Act.

    But it was too much to expect the Court to overrule its prior mistake in that case. Today’s decision is still a big victory for the rule of law and those who do not believe that the courts should be deciding complex public policy issues – issues that our Constitution says are delegated to our legislative and executive branches to decide.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to The Supremes Chill Global "Warming" Alarmists

    1. Bobbie says:

      Pretty cool, eh!

      Why are matters allowed to GET beyond protocol? Are the court costs paid by the perpetrators of the law as they once were?

    2. @questionAGW says:

      I pointed out last year how there was a fundamental problem plaguing any of these lawsuits, please see "Global Warming Nuisance Lawsuits Are Based on a Fatal Flaw" http://biggovernment.com/rcook/2010/11/27/global-

      More recently, I found a major problem WITHIN the problem, please see "Forget the Science; Is Al Gore's Accusation of Skeptic Climate Scientists a Hoax?" http://www.redstate.com/russellc/2011/06/15/forge

    3. Bob says:

      Interesting agitprop. As for the numbers, the Pew Research Center says,

      "Global warming remains a deeply partisan issue, but there is a consensus across six of the eight typology groups that developing alternative energy sources – as opposed to expanding the search for oil, coal, and natural gas – should be the priority for America’s energy supply.

      Nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) say developing alternative sources such as wind, solar and hydrogen technology should be the more important priority for addressing America’s energy supply; 29% say expanding exploration and production of oil, coal and natural gas should be the more important priority.

      Staunch Conservatives are the only group in which a majority says expanding oil, coal and natural gas should be the priority; fully 72% say this should be the focus, while just 15% would emphasize alternative energy sources.

      The divide within the Republican base is stark on this issue: fully 66% of Main Street Republicans say alternative energy development should be the focus of America’s energy policy, while just 26% would focus on expanding oil, coal and natural gas exploration. In this view, Main Street Republicans agree with the predominantly Democratic groups."

      • JAD says:

        I would be skeptical of any poll, especially from the Pew Center, which historically has leaned to the Progressive side and adjusted their polls to reflect that. Interesting that your citation lists "Staunch Conservatives" vs. "Main Street Republicans", a red flag as these are very vaguely defined sample groups and should not be used for comparison within the GOP. What makes someone a "Main Street Republican", that they agree with the Pew researchers?

        I think anyone or any group should support any form of energy as long as it's developed, produced, and supported by individuals acting in response to incentives (aka free market), not by government policy creating and forcing artificial demand. If these "alternative" energy sources are efficient and viable, they'll be put to use. Thus far, they have not been, and as soon as the government money runs out, these sources will die. Carbon fuels are efficient and inexpensive, so let's support the supply of those, and if something better comes along, let it rise or fall on its merits.

      • Lloyd Scallan says:

        The word "consensus" is code for when the left cannot prove their contentions. To suggest that this is a "deeply partisan issue" is just more of the left's efforts to justify the outright lies and deceptions that has been exposed and totally debunked. "Staunch conservatives" are NOT the only group that is more interested in expanding our present sources (oil, coal, natural gas, etc), despite what you might gleam from Pew. Most Americans realize we need to explore all energy sources. But we also relize that "alternative energy" is still at best decades away from producing positive results. Obama and his ilk would have us abandon fossil fuels and divert all efforts and dollars away from the sources we must have now. thus continue his "transformation" of America.

      • @questionAGW says:

        Not exactly helping matters much for Pew is the fact that two of the people in the Pew Environment Group, Brandon MacGillis and Kymberly Escobar, worked at Ozone Action. That was the enviro-activist group which I describe in my various online articles as the epicenter of the '96-to-present smear of skeptic scientists. Ms Escobar became a spokesperson for Greepeace in 2001 when Ozone Action was merged with it: http://www.commondreams.org/news2001/1203-06.htm

    4. pierre chagnon says:

      What else can you get from a wack pinko on the verge of losing it like Blumenthal, ? when ideology gets in the way of sane rational thinking.

    5. Bobbie says:

      63%? stop the government subsidies to show the actual facts of where the interests of the people are. The free market is an excellent tool that can't be manipulated like 63% can. Why not use what we have like the world around us is, while those interested in alternative energies can invest THEIR MONEY without government's funding? I'll tell you why, because the interest ISN'T THERE WITHOUT GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES!
      The interest is manipulated and artificial.

    6. NikFromNYC says:

      Cold fusion featured in the LA Times in '89 before it was debunked. Environmentalists were aghast at the possibility of cheap clean energy:

      “It’s like giving a machine gun to an idiot child.” – Paul Ehrlich (mentor of John Cook of the SkepticalScience blog, author of "Climate Change Denial")
      “Clean-burning, non-polluting, hydrogen-using bulldozers still could knock down trees or build housing developments on farmland.” – Paul Ciotti (LA Times)
      “It gives some people the false hope that there are no limits to growth and no environmental price to be paid by having unlimited sources of energy.” – Jeremy Rifkin (NY Times)
      “Many people assume that cheaper, more abundant energy will mean that mankind is better off, but there is no evidence for that.” – Laura Nader (sister of Ralph)

      CLIMATEGATE 101: "For your eyes only: Don't leave stuff lying around on ftp sites – you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone….Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it – thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially? from UEA so he can hide behind that." – Phil "Hide The Decline" Jones to Michael "Hockey Stick" Mann

      Here I present The Quick Glance Guide to Global Warming:
      Denial: http://bit.ly/m6xySt
      Oceans: http://oi53.tinypic.com/2i6os4y.jpg
      Thermometers: http://oi52.tinypic.com/2agnous.jpg
      Earth: http://oi56.tinypic.com/2reh021.jpg
      Ice: http://oi56.tinypic.com/30a99tx.jpg
      Authority: http://oi52.tinypic.com/wlt4i8.jpg
      Prophecy: http://oi52.tinypic.com/30bfktk.jpg
      Psychopathy: http://oi52.tinypic.com/1zqu71i.jpg
      Icon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmPzLzj-3XY
      Thinker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n92YenWfz0Y

      -=NikFromNYC=- Ph.D. in Carbon Chemistry (Columbia/Harvard)

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