Frank Talk: Necessary, But Not Sufficient
On August 31, and again on September 7, every individual Petitioner and I met with key Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials. We aimed to discern if the Agency retained any substantial question or concern with respect to our Petition to Phase Out Greenhouse Gas Pollution to Restore a Stable and Healthy Climate.
To date we have made an overwhelming case for the Agency’s proper action – that is, to accept the Petition and commence a rulemaking proceeding (replete with substantial opportunity for public input). This is so because GHG pollutants and their major fossil fuel sources (coal, oil and gas) clearly “present an unreasonable risk to health or the environment” – the operative standards established in §6 and §21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act.
Still, EPA officials were highly circumspect, giving no hint as to which way they will go in their response which is due, by law, on September 14, 2022.
No matter. The simple fact of the matter is that Petitioners are not likely to fold. Moreover, in light of their strong legal, scientific, and practical (including economic) case, as we marshalled in the Petition, it is frankly difficult to conceive of any reasonable response by the Agency other than a resounding “Yes.”
But we will learn more, soon enough.
Last-Minute Comments? Not Too Late
Subsequent to our September 7 meeting with EPA I summarized the signal contributions of our delegation to the discussion, and then submitted that as an attachment to the official record. Please see my letter below, if you’d like to review.
Petitioners by law will need to file a federal lawsuit within 60 days of any adverse determination, or else lose the right to seek judicial review. A reviewing court should then consider both the material that we provided and referenced in the Petition, as well as any substantive public comment relevant to the questions (a) whether a TSCA rulemaking is needed, and (b) whether GHG pollutants really present a risk of injury to health or the environment.
Doing Us All A Solid: All 1057 + 92 of You
CPR Initiative extends its whole-hearted appreciation to the 1057 individuals and 92 organizations (and counting) who have endorsed our effort. Some of you have even gone the extra mile to sponsor our campaign to get this across the finish line. Thank you as well!
Now, if you have still not endorsed and sponsored, but wish to do so, please see below to endorse and support today!
In several key ways, our work really has just begun. In particular:
If EPA accepts the Petition, then we will fully engage in the rulemaking process – including by developing a detailed set of expert recommendations aimed at phasing out GHG pollution within reach of US law, as well as by ensuring that allied, highly-impacted communities are practically enabled to participate in the process.
On the other hand, if EPA rejects our Petition, then we may need to engage not merely in the court of public opinion, but in federal court. And more, resources permitting. Because we have come much too far to let this thing go.