Global Warming Deniers Ask Court To Help Their Cause

Legal attack aimed at EPA's power to regulate GW emissions

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The EPA Clean Air Act endangerment finding, under attack in the U.S. Senate by Lisa Murkowski and her lobbyist allies, is also facing opposition in the courts. Last month, a band of industry interests asked a federal appeals court to review the EPA’s finding, which is a prerequisite for using the Clean Air Act to reduce global warming pollution in the U.S.

Among the companies and business associations crusading against the endangerment finding is the coal giant Massey Energy—whose CEO Don Blankenship is a fervid denier of global warming, a position he championed without compunction in a recent debate with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. over mountaintop removal mining.

His line of argument was skillfully captured in a tweet by Earthjustice Campaign Director Jared Saylor, who attended the debate. Others, however, realize that our national addiction to fossil fuels must be overcome, and the endangerment finding is a step towards sobriety.

Last Friday, 16 states and New York City filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit in order to defend the endangerment finding and the option of using the Clean Air Act in the future to cut down on pollution that is worsening global warming.

Blankenship and his ilk have profited tremendously from our fossil-fuel burning revelry, so it’s really no surprise that they want the party to continue. But Blankenship’s dogmatic, tragicomic denial of global warming in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary makes him look like the last guy at the party, yelling "beer run!" long after everyone else has gone home to sleep it off.

Sam Edmondson was a campaign manager on air toxics issues from 2010 until 2012. He helped organize the first 50 States United for Healthy Air event. His desire to work at an environmental organization came from the belief that if we don't do something to change our unsustainable ways, we are in big trouble.