Climate Change Progress Stalls in Richmond
Heads in the sand. That’s the best that can be said about the continuing assault on climate science, which continued here in Virginia this past week, as Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and the state of Virginia filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals against the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Attorney General, in conjunction with the state of Texas (whose Governor, Rick Perry, made waves a couple of years ago by talking about seceding from the United States), seeks to force the EPA to reopen the hearings that led to the EPA’s “endangerment finding,” pursuant to a section of the Clean Air Act finding six main greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide) “ threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.”
The battle between the EPA and Cuccinelli began in February 2010, with Cuccinelli contending that the EPA relied on faulty scientific data when making their ruling. Governor Bob McDonnell has backed the Attorney General on the grounds that the federal position on greenhouse gas emission would have a negative effect on job creation and Virginia’s economy.
The decision to go forward with this lawsuit comes shortly after the US House of Representatives voted 240-184 against an amendment stating that Congress accepted the EPA’s conclusions that climate change is occurring and is primarily caused by anthropogenic sources.
The decision also comes after a month filled with extreme weather disasters such as the tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Glade Spring, Virginia, and wildfires that have been raging across Texas.
With close to unilateral support from the scientific community, and negative effects already manifesting themselves, when will climate change finally be accepted and attacked? Only when we take our collective heads out of the sand, beginning in Richmond.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of members of the NDP Steering Committee.