Both the science behind climate change and the efficacy of life-saving safety standards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had a trying week in Washington, D.C., as industry-backed lawsuits and politicians attempted to undermine the entire scientific community.
One of the legal battles took place at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where the EPA defended its work to limit the amount of mercury and arsenic that energy companies are allowed to release into the air. According to NRDC, these health standards that are under attack from the dirty energy industry have the potential to save as many as 45,000 lives a year.
Based on the D.C. Circuit’s previous rulings regarding the Clean Air Act, it is likely that the EPA will be the victor in this case.
Protesters marked the second anniversary of the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling by unfurling a banner reading “U.S. Supreme Koch” on the court house steps. The action is part of a week-long effort to raise awareness of the unjust power that the Citizens United decision has gifted to corporate special interests and billionaires like the Koch brothers over U.S. politics.
The Supreme Court's astonishing ruling in Citizens United v. FEC enables unlimited corporate expenditures on political campaigns and allows donors to influence elections without being identified. It's exactly the weapon that corporations like Koch Industries, run by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, are using to turn the U.S. into an oligarchy that serves the 'needs' of the 1% and endangers the rest of Americans.
“The Kochs and their kind are engaged in a hostile corporate takeover of our nation’s political system,” said John Sellers, co-founder of The Other 98%. “We've come to the scene of the crime today – the U.S. Supreme Court – to tell the justices exactly what we think of the infamous Citizens United ruling that made that takeover possible.”
“The Supreme Court has undermined government of, by and for the actual people by defining corporations as people and money as speech,” said Ethan Rome, executive director of Health Care for America Now.
Here are a few pictures and a video of the action:
With Bush brushing off yesterday's landmark global warming decision by the Supreme Court we continue to recrod for posterity what will no doubt be a legacy of foot-dragging and global warming denial by the Bush administration.
Not surprisingly, the list includes many third-party groups representing major auto manufacturers, heavy industry, oil and gas and electrical production. We thought it would be interesting to see where each of these organizations stood on the issues of environment and global warming. And interesting it was, for example, one of the opponents of new carbon emissions regulations is the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, yet their website states that, “members of the Alliance believe that it is prudent to reduce emissions, including carbon dioxide…”
The Supreme Court has ordered the federal government to take a fresh look at regulating carbon dioxide emissions from cars, a rebuke to Bush administration policy on global warming.
In a 5-4 decision, the court said the Clean Air Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to regulate the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from cars.
Massachusetts Attorney General, Martha Coakley, states: “Despite acknowledging that global warming poses serious dangers to our environment and health, the Bush Administration has done little or nothing to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. As a result of today’s landmark ruling, EPA can no longer hide behind the fiction that it lacks any regulatory authority to address the problem of global warming.”
As the Supreme Court global warming case enters its second full day, the circus act on the administrative side of the floor continues. Today, Deputy Solicitor General Gregory Garre, first admitting that he had limited knowledge of climate science, proceeds to state that there is a “likely connection” between greenhouse gases and global warming but that “it cannot unequivocally established.”
Platts, “the world's leading supplier of energy information,” reports here that the U.S. Supreme Court has set a date for oral arguments in the climate change case that has been brought against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.