CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE AND THE SUPREME COURT
April 2 2007: In the case of Massachusetts et al. v EPA et al., the Supreme Court voted 5-4 that the Clean Air Act gives the EPA the authority to regulate the emissions of greenhouse gases from cars.
The Court's Opinion begins:
On November 29 2006, the Supreme Court of the US heard the case No. 05-1120 Massachusetts et al. v EPA et al.. The case started as a petition by the International Center for Technology Assessment et al. in 1999 for EPA to regulate emission of greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles as required by the Clean Air Act 202(a)(1). In 2003 EPA denied the petition. In 2005 the US Court of Appeals in DC ruled in favor of the EPA. In March 2006, all petitioners joined in filing Writ for Certiorari to the US Supreme Court. Professors Inez Fung and John Harte of UC Berkeley are among a group of climate scientists who have submitted an Amicus Curiae Brief in support of the Petitioners http://126.96.36.199/doc/ClimateScientistsAmicusFinal.pdf. The climate scientists are involved because
A very informative web site for the case is http://www.icta.org Click on "Global Warming and the Environment", and then click on "Legal actions". Or go directly to http://www.icta.org/global/actions.cfm?page_id=2§ion_title=Global%20Warming%20&%20Air%20Pollution.The website lists the chronology of the case as well as many of the legal documents through the history of the case, including the original 1999 Global Warming Legal Petition http://www.icta.org/doc/ghgpet2.pdf, and all the amicus briefs to the Supreme Court in support of the Petitioners.
The 2001 NRC Report Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions, the principal scientific document of the case, can be found at http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10139.html#toc
Other useful references on climate change from the National Academy Press
Understanding and Responding to Climate Change http://dels.nas.edu/basc/Climate-HIGH.pdf
Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10136.html
Reconciling Observations of Temperature Change http://newton.nap.edu/books/0309068916/html/7.html
Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Past 2000 Years http://fermat.nap.edu/books/0309102251/html.
November 29 2006: Transcript of the arguments at the Supreme Court http://www.supremecourtus.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/05-1120.pdf
November 29 2006: Panel discussion of the case at Georgetown University Law School
For a very detailed, thorough,
and enlightening legal post-mortem of the way the Supreme Court oral argument
went, see the C-SPAN link below,
video of a panel discussion on the case at Georgetown University law school, including Lisa Heinzerling (main author of the Massachussets et al
brief arguing the case), Prof. Richard Lazarus (a prominent expert in environmental law), E. Donald Elliot (former EPA General Counsel during the
first President Bush), and Norman Fichthorn (who represented the Utility group in the case).
Scroll down to the link labeled:
Georgetown Univ. Law Center on Massachusetts v. EPA
In Washington, DC, the Georgetown University Law Center holds a panel
discussion on Massachusetts v. the Evironmental Protection Agency.
11/29/2006: WASHINGTON, DC: 1 hr. 31 min.