EPA Dismisses Perry’s Climate Change Challenge

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So, big surprise – Yesterday, EPA rejected Texas’ ludicrous climate change challenge.

In reaction, Gov. Perry put a nickel in the ol’ 10th Amendment jukebox and a different verse of the same states’ rights song came out:

I’m disappointed, but hardly surprised, given this administration’s ongoing disregard for Texas air quality successes and Texas jobs. The State of Texas will continue to fight this federal overreach by unelected bureaucrats through appropriate legal action, which I hope will allow us to continue our effective environmental programs while protecting countless Texas jobs.

In February, top Texas officials formally challenged EPA’s finding that greenhouse gasses endanger human health and the environment, a determination that paves the way for eventual regulation of carbon dioxide and other pollutants linked to climate change.

It was a bit of a fool’s errand since that hotbed of radical environmentalism – the Supreme Court of the United States – ruled 5-4 in Massachusetts v. EPA that EPA did have that authority under the Clean Air Act.

The Texas challenge centers around the embarrassing, tin-foil-hat argument that climate science has been “discredited.” Here’s how Perry explained it in February.

The state’s legal action indicates EPA’s Endangerment Finding is legally unsupported because the agency outsourced its scientific assessment to the International [sic] Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has been discredited by evidence of key scientists’ lack of objectivity, coordinated efforts to hide flaws in their research, attempts to keep contravening evidence out of IPCC reports and violation of freedom of information laws.

Here’s how he explained it yesterday:

The state’s legal action asserts that EPA’s Endangerment Finding is legally unsupported because the agency outsourced its scientific assessment to the International [sic] Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has been discredited by evidence of key scientists’ lack of objectivity, coordinated efforts to hide flaws in their research, attempts to keep contravening evidence out of IPCC reports and violation of freedom of information laws.

If I bungled the name of one of the most important scientific bodies in the world (it’s the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), my editor would have my head. Perry managed to do it twice.

Worse, he and Attorney General Abbott keep recycling the same tired, discredited myths about scientific malfeasance.

Texas Climate News:

Several independent investigations have found no evidence that the leaked emails, including messages from several prominent American climate scientists, revealed manipulation of scientific findings, as climate-change skeptics have charged. For example, the former chairman of the House of Lords’ science and technology committee who headed one British inquiry said it found “absolutely no evidence of any impropriety whatsoever.”

Reporters for the Associated Press conducted what they called “an exhaustive review” into the email messages and concluded that they did not “support claims that the science of global warming was faked.”

In line with such findings, the EPA said in announcing its rejection of Texas’ challenge and the other petitions that the agency’s review of their charges “shows that climate science is credible, compelling, and growing stronger.”

it just couldn’t be clearer that when it comes to climate change, the top Republicans in this state don’t care about the facts. If anything, between February and now, the evidence has mounted even further that humans are cooking the planet. Just this week, NOAA announced that the past decade is the warmest on record, according to, oh, scientists in 48 different countries.

And there was this disturbing analysis of climate impacts on water supply performed by Tetra Tech for NRDC.

Forrest Wilder, a native of Wimberley, Texas, is associate editor of the Observer. Forrest specializes in environmental reporting and runs the “Forrest for the Trees” blog. Forrest has appeared on Democracy Now!, The Rachel Maddow Show and numerous NPR stations. His work has been mentioned by The New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, Time magazine and many other state and national publications. Other than filing voluminous open records requests, Forrest enjoys fishing, kayaking, gardening and beer-league softball. He holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin.