Nobody likes to be called a dummy by a dummy.

MASSACHUSETTS v. EPA

Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer rule that EPA can regulate greenhouse gases.

Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito argue that Massachusetts, without specific global-warming injury, has no standing to bring this case.
Permalink  
April 2nd, 2007 10:52pm
So what does this mean? Is the EPA creating its own Kyoto accord or something?
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 3rd, 2007 12:51am
US states are out-Kyotoing Kyoto. EPA wants more a federalist LCD. Blah, blah.
Permalink blahty heartsheep 
April 3rd, 2007 2:01am
Carbon Dioxide - harmless, colorless, odorless gas?

Or deadly poison that will destroy all life on the planet?

Be sure to vote which you prefer.
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 3rd, 2007 2:22am
If it was good enough to create life on earth, it's good enough for me!
Permalink Send private email Сергей РахманиноB 
April 3rd, 2007 8:21am
The EPA, under Bush, was arguing it's not going to regulate greenhouse gasses, because it has no authority to regulate greenhouse gasses.

I think the Supreme Court has told the EPA it does SO have the authority.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 3rd, 2007 9:26am
Apparently MA has standing because it is losing (or can lose? not sure which) land to rising sea levels.
Permalink the great purple 
April 3rd, 2007 10:00am
has standing because the "EPA's steadfast refusal to regulate greenhosue gas emissions present a risk of harm to Massachusetts that is both 'actual' and 'imminent.'"

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/06pdf/05-1120.pdf
Permalink  
April 3rd, 2007 11:44am
Right, the decision is that the EPA has to regulate CO2 from vehicles and power plants, bring it down to levels that will not contribute to greenhouse warming, whether or not man is the principle contributor to that.

Now vehicles is easy. Gas engines have incomplete combustion and give out toxic CO, a major contributor to smog. Diesel engines have complete combustion and give out nontoxic CO2. There is no way to not make these a product of combustion - that's how petroleum combustion works. You burn hydrocarbons in an oxygenated chamber and get CO or CO2 gas released. So the only way to do this is to ban the use of diesel, switch to CO producing engines only. This will reduce air quality substantially but it's required by the EPA so you have no choice.
Permalink Mechanical Engineer 
April 3rd, 2007 4:52pm
Well, EPA can not "not regulate" because they don't have the Authority, because the Supreme Court has ruled they DO have the Authority.

Now, how they choose to exercise that authority will probably be the subject of the NEXT court case.  In other words, draconian regulation is not a given, nor is it mandated.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 3rd, 2007 4:58pm
Good thing we're building more nuclear power plants.  We'll need them to power our plug-in hybrids & fully-electric cars.

Of course, there's the little problem of waste that is toxic to all life for 10,000 years.  But that's just an engineering problem.
Permalink xampl 
April 3rd, 2007 5:32pm
The specific issue here that Massachusetts sued over is they claim that the sea levels are rising and that that rising has washed away the sea coasts of Massachusetts, and that the party responsible for this happening, that has caused the damage, is the EPA, because they refuse to issue regulations limiting CO2 emissions nationally.

The Supreme Court agreed, they found that the EPA was responsible for causing sea levels to rise and the rising sea levels have damaged the State of Massachusetts by coastal erosion.

So now the EPA is required to reduce CO2 emissions until the sea level stops rising.

I'll leave it up to you guys to look up how much the sea levels are rising and whether, if they are, even killing all humans in the US and banning all industry would have any effect whatsoever on this.
Permalink Mechanical Engineer 
April 3rd, 2007 11:09pm
Correct, 'xampl', but the solution to that is to have a few breeder reactors, reprocessing all that 10,000 year spent fuel into new fuel rods, and a much lower amount of waste that's only radio-active for a decade or so.

This can be done.  In fact, this MUST be done, because if you think we're short on oil (which we are) we're REALLY short on Uranium if we only use it once then bury it for 10,000 years.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 4th, 2007 10:14am
Well, specifically, if we only use straight 235, we have 50 years of supplies.

Switching to breeders running the more common 238, we have enough energy to run everybody in the world at american energy use rates for around 5 billion years.

And that's when the sun gives out, so those complaining about this rate of usage are just being silly.
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 6th, 2007 1:03am
This article is recommended:

Breeder reactors: A renewable energy source, American Journal of Physics, vol. 51, (1), Jan. 1983.

On the other hand, no one has produced an economically viable breeder reactor yet, so this is all unproven theoretical stuff.
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 6th, 2007 1:13am

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