Refreshing News from the Ninth Circuit

by William Yeatman on April 30, 2008

I just received a hard copy of an opinion in San Francisco Chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute et al. v. EPA et al. The plaintiffs in this matter sought all sorts of things, all of which involved EPA continuing to do things that Congress is terrified of taking responsibility for expressly telling EPA, or any other agency, to do — regulate carbon dioxide. The requests included a writ of mandamus compelling EPA immediately to declare that CO2 emissions from autos pose an endangerment to public health and welfare, and to regulate it.


For beleaguered opponents of the global warming industry, the opinion is a must read. It comes from a fairly unexpected source, Federal District Judge Charles R. Breyer, a Ninth Circuit Clinton appointee and brother of SCOTUS’s Stephen Breyer, making it ever more refreshing. Although its precedential impact will be minimal simply by virtue of the nature of the requests and ruling, the federal mandamus and Administrative Procedure Act discussions are very instructive reads, given the persistence of ignorant if common claims such as the contention that the Court in Mass. v. EPA determined that CO2 was a pollutant posing an endangerment, and that EPA and the Bush Administration are now somehow in violation of the opinion, and so on. About these claims, specifically, the here court notes "The Supreme Court was careful not to place a time limit on the EPA, and indeed did not even reach the question whether an endangerment finding had to be made at all."


This court vigorously slapped such nonsense down and in no uncertain terms. Most rewarding is the pithy dismissal of the complaint itself, in the process of rejecting the request for Rule 11 sanctions (for filing frivolous claims), the latter which represent a course that our side is increasingly pondering in the face of the increasingly outrageous global warming litigation industry. "A close call" as the court said, at best, but pretty rough stuff from out in those parts against what was a fairly typical Ninth Circuit "environmental" plaintiff.


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