I don’t normally discuss political issues here, however there are important legal issues that need to be addressed related to global warming.

Former Vice President Al Gore was right on point in his film "An Inconvenient Truth" released in May 2006. An Inconvenient Truth recorded a multi-media presentation hosted by Gore in which he discusses the scientific facts behind global warming, explains how it has already begun to affect our environment, talks about the disastrous consequences if the world's governments and citizens do not act, and shares what each individual can do to help protect the Earth for this and future generations.

Global warming is real. Climate change is happening. Carbon dioxide in the air is increasing, and is at a higher level than it has been for the past 3 million years and the higher level of carbon dioxide is increasingly heating up the planet at a rate faster than in the past 11,000 years.

Unfortunately many politicians vocally denying global warming, are heavily funded by fossil fuel interests, or lead institutes funded that way. Politicians have created a fake controversy claiming that global warming is a myth and not based on real science and this myth has been spread over the internet to the point that the public perception is that there is some controversy about global warming. As a result, the public perception is skewed, people believe that there is a controversy about global warming. The only controversy is a manufactured one; made up by people who are basing it on ideology, not facts, evidence, and science. Self serving individuals that know in the back of their mind that they are ignoring what may be the largest crisis this world has ever known for their own personal gain.

A new study has just come out that looked at nearly 12,000 professional scientific journal papers about global warming, and found that — of the papers expressing a stance on global warming — 97 percent endorse both the reality of global warming and the fact that humans are causing it. The study found the papers by searching on the terms "global warming" and "global climate change." The study determined that 97.1 percent of the published research papers endorsed the consensus that humans are causing global warming. They contacted 8,500 authors of the papers in question and asked them to self-rate those papers. They received responses from 1,200 authors, and 97.2 percent of the authors endorse the consensus. The majority of scientists who conduct climatological research and publish their results in professional journals say humans are the cause of global warming. There is no controversy among actual climate scientists about this. The controversy is among politicians and others funded by fossil fuel interests. Here is a link to the study

Environmental Law Issues

The Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA is developing standards for greenhouse gas emissions from mobile and stationary sources under the Clean Air Act. Below are the key proposed or completed actions taken to implement Clean Air Act requirements for carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases.

A summary of EPA's efforts to reduce carbon pollution is also available in testimony by Gina McCarthy, Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation, to Congress on June 29, 2012. (16 pp,105 K, About PDF)

Greenhouse Gas Endangerment Findings

On December 7, 2009, Administrator Lisa Jackson signed a final action, under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act, finding that six key well-mixed greenhouse gases constitute a threat to public health and welfare, and that the combined emissions from motor vehicles cause and contribute to the climate change problem. Learn more about the Greenhouse Gas Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings.

Transportation/Mobile Sources

EPA and NHTSA Standards to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Use for New Motor Vehicles. EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are taking coordinated steps to enable the production of a new generation of clean vehicles– from the smallest cars to the largest trucks–through reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved fuel use. Together, the enacted and proposed standards are expected to save more than six billion barrels of oil through 2025 and reduce more than 3,100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Learn more about standards and regulations for controlling greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles and engines.

Renewable Fuel Standard Program

EPA is also responsible for developing and implementing regulations to ensure that transportation fuel sold in the United States contains a minimum volume of renewable fuel. By 2022, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 138 million metric tons, about the annual emissions of 27 million passenger vehicles, replacing about seven percent of expected annual diesel consumption and decreasing oil imports by $41.5 billion.

Stationary Sources

Proposed Carbon Pollution Standard for New Power Plants

On March 27, 2012, EPA proposed a Carbon Pollution Standard for New Power Plants that would, for the first time, set national limits on the amount of carbon pollution that power plants can emit. The proposed rule, which applies only to new fossil-fuel-fired electric utility generating units, will help ensure that current progress continues toward a cleaner, safer, and more modern power sector.

Final Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule

On May 13, 2010, EPA set greenhouse gas emissions thresholds to define when permits under the New Source Review Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V Operating Permit programs are required for new and existing industrial facilities. This final rule "tailors" the requirements of these Clean Air Act permitting programs to limit covered facilities to the nation's largest greenhouse gas emitters: power plants, refineries, and cement production facilities.

Timing of Applicability of the PSD Permitting Program to Greenhouse Gases

On March 29, 2010, EPA completed its reconsideration of the December 18, 2008 memorandum entitled "EPA's Interpretation of Regulations that Determine Pollutants Covered by Federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Permit Program" (the so-called "Johnson memo"). The final action confirmed that any new pollutants that EPA may regulate becomes covered under the PSD program on the date when the EPA rule regulating that new pollutant takes effect. The final action then clarified that for greenhouse gases, the effective date would be January 2, 2011, when the cars rule took effect.

Emissions Reporting

Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program

The Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program collects greenhouse gas data from large emission sources across a range of industry sectors, as well as suppliers of products that would emit greenhouse gases if released or combusted. Greenhouse gas data are available through the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program Data Publication Tool.

Other Related Actions

Oil and Natural Gas Air Pollution Standards

On April 18, 2012, EPA finalized cost effective regulations to reduce harmful air pollution from the oil and natural gas industry, while allowing continued, responsible growth in U.S. oil and natural gas production. The final rules are expected to yield a nearly 95 percent reduction in VOC emissions from more than 11,000 new hydraulically fractured gas wells each year. The rules will also reduce air toxics and emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide

Geologic sequestration is the process of injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) from a source, such as a coal-fired electric generating power plant, into a well thousands of feet underground and sequestering the CO2 underground indefinitely. With proper site selection and management, geologic sequestration could play a major role in reducing emissions of CO2. EPA has finalized requirements for geologic sequestration, including the development of a new class of wells, Class VI, under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act's Underground Injection Control Program. Learn more about EPA's rulemakings on geologic sequestration under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Waste Energy Recovery Registry

On July 23, 2009, EPA published a rule that proposes to establish the criteria for including sources or sites in a Registry of Recoverable Waste Energy Sources (Registry), as required by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The agency is also proposing the Survey processes by which EPA will collect data and populate the Registry. The proposed rule would apply to major industrial and large commercial sources as defined by EPA in the rule making.

For more information or a free consultation on your legal issue contact The Law Offices of Charles D. Scott PLLC, your injury law and family law attorneys, at 727-300-4878.

al gore, climate change, climate change laws, global warming, sea level rise

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