The Pacific Legal Foundation of Sacramento, a conservative public interest legal organization has recently filed a petition with the EPA, contending that “the process that yielded the endangerment finding (under the Clean Air Act) has been called into question by what is popularly known as “Climategate.” Thus, PLF has called for a reassessment by the agency’s Scientific Advisory Board. The petition, a summary of the case, and a PF attorney video is available on the PLF site.
This could be an interesting addition to a classroom discussion of EPA’s efforts to regulate GHGs under the Clean Air Act as it would afford instructors the opportunity to discuss the implications of “Climategate” for climate change science, and the role of pressure groups e.g. PLF in domestic U.S. climate politics.
I personally welcome this challenge by PLF. As I’ve indicated in previous blogs, I think that “Climategate” is a tempest in a teapot, and that both the University of East Anglia’s underlying findings are sound, and a focus on the foibles of scientists at this institution ignores an overwhelming number of independent assessments making similar findings. When the Bush administration asked the National Academies of Science to reevaluate the 4th Assessment Report of the IPCC, it returned findings that vindicated AR4, and helped to illuminate the science of climate change and accentuate the need to act, engendering substantial publicity in the process. A similar effort to put climate change science in the dock here will presumably produce similar results, so bring it on!