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States Set to Sue the U.S. Over Greenhouse Gases

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the fight-for-your-right-to-breathe dept.

The Courts 440

dnormant writes to tell us The New York Times is reporting that more than a dozen states are gearing up to sue the Bush administration for holding up efforts to regulate automobile emissions. "The move comes as New York and other Northeastern states are stepping up their push for tougher regulation of greenhouse gases as part of their continuing opposition to President Bush's policies. On Wednesday, Gov. Eliot Spitzer's administration is to issue regulations requiring power plants to pay for their greenhouse gas emissions, part of a broader plan among 10 Northeastern states, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, to move beyond federal regulators in Washington and regulate such emissions on their own."

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One problem with this plan (2, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106225)

Gov. Eliot Spitzer's administration is to issue regulations requiring power plants to pay for their greenhouse gas emissions
We're being taxed and surcharged into oblivion, and we're passing the savings on to you!

Re:One problem with this plan (1)

R00BYtheN00BY (1118945) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106243)

IM LOLLIN' OVER HERE loL!!!

Re:One problem with this plan (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21106599)

You'll not be laughin' when Bush claims the lawsuit, if allowed to be open to the general public, would impose a national security risk.

Re:One problem with this plan (2)

Simple-Simmian (710342) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106331)

Yea all these "charges" are passed on to the consumer. Folks like Spitzer may be able top afford it, I can't California (where I live) Should be breaking ground on 50 Reactors today. That will clean up the air in a huge way and allow us to remain a economic power house. All moves to clean up the air are good and badly needed but only if you are not cutting off the nose of every regular guy like me in the process and putting us into poverty.

Re:One problem with this plan (4, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106383)

All moves to clean up the air are good and badly needed but only if you are not cutting off the nose of every regular guy like me in the process and putting us into poverty.


Why should there be an exception for "regular guys like you"? To the extent that you are contributing to the problem and enjoying the benefits of the power produced, it seems only logical that you should be required to help fund the solution. With any luck, requiring power companies to pay for the costs of the pollution they create (and presumably pass that cost on to their consumers) will motivate both the power companies and the consumers to switch to cleaner (and hence cheaper) methods of power generation... which is of course exactly what we want to have happen.

Re:One problem with this plan (3, Interesting)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106485)

With any luck, requiring power companies to pay for the costs of the pollution they create (and presumably pass that cost on to their consumers) will motivate both the power companies and the consumers to switch to cleaner (and hence cheaper) methods of power generation... which is of course exactly what we want to have happen.
Luck has nothing to do with it. That's the same sort of naive thinking that comes up with ideas like this. As long as the power company can recoup most/all of the added expense from the customer, they won't have any impetus to switch anything at all.

Re:One problem with this plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21106613)

The use of these utilities is creating external costs. Who do you think should incur these costs? The people that use the utilities that create the external costs, or everyone else?

Why is it that people that are always sucking the balls of corporations always wish to alleviate them from the burden of the costs that their operations incur on everyone else? Jeez, their fuel costs get passed onto their consumers too, so I guess they shouldn't have to pay for that either? The difference is that in order to obtain property you have to pay someone for it, but it's trivial and un-billed when you dump your shit into everyone else's lap. Maybe someday after years of lawsuits you'll be able to make them pay for a small fraction of this garbage, but good luck with that. Personally I'd rather not have to wait for catastrophic results from these externalities before assholes have to pay for them themselves.

Re:One problem with this plan (1, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106685)

Reading comprehension FTW.

Where did I say they shouldn't pay for it? I simply said they won't let it hit them where it counts: in the profits. The more it costs them, the more they pass on, and thus they have no reason to change anything until too many people decide that power is just too expensive.

Thus, the cost of power goes up, the pollution doesn't go down. Thus, the "Everyone else" keep paying for it anyway.

It's a non-solution.

Re:One problem with this plan (4, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106651)

As long as the power company can recoup most/all of the added expense from the customer, they won't have any impetus to switch anything at all.

Do you have the option on your power bill to purchase "clean energy"? Now if there is some oversight of the power company that prevents them from passing the pollution costs on to people purchasing the electricity from solar and wind farms, then you have a strong economic incentive for the consumer which is the fastest way to create any large scale change. If if doesn't hurt people in the wallet, then everything will stay status quo.

Re:One problem with this plan (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21106867)

Do you have the option on your power bill to purchase "clean energy"?

Actually, I do (though I'm not the person you were asking). Thanks to "deregulation" (they called it deregulation, but they basically passed a law forcing the electric company to operate as a utility connecting N generating companies and M users. Same idea as the regulation that used to force phone companies to share their lines with other people at cost) I can now purchase units of electricity from companies that run wind farms or nuclear plants or coal or whatever else.

One of those companies offers wind power. For $x, they add $x worth of their wind-generator power onto the grid, which I then take out of the grid on my end, and some fraction goes to the old electric company who now maintains the grid.

Now, is there a way to guarantee that my money is buying wind power (no, the electrons could come from anywhere...) or that the company is actually producing wind power (well, I could take a tour of their wind farm but nothing's actually plugged in and they run 10 coal plants) but that's just part of the problem with the market.

Re:One problem with this plan (5, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106721)

Except suddenly nuclear, wind and solar will have a competitive advantage over coal, oil and gas; there's no luck involved. Energy providers have to compete to provide the lowest cost per kWH, and if carbon costs money, energy producers have incentive to cut it.

Free CO2 in the air is gonna cost somebody a lot of money someday. Collecting a fixed amount for it at the time of origination is a way of containing the risk, since climate change is liable to be more expensive and less predictable.

Re:One problem with this plan (2, Informative)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106813)

What part of the country do you live in that has competition for power? Everywhere I have ever lived (including on Long Island, to remain ontopic), if there was going to be Nukeclear, solar, or wind power (barring personal power generators), it would have to come from the same provider already polluting.

Re:One problem with this plan (1, Troll)

E++99 (880734) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106901)

Free CO2 in the air is gonna cost somebody a lot of money someday. Collecting a fixed amount for it at the time of origination is a way of containing the risk, since climate change is liable to be more expensive and less predictable.

No. No it's not. If America proves to be stupid enough to fall for this crap, then we deserve what we get -- which is the end of our superpower status. Currently there is still more freedom and rationality in America than in China, but the trend looks better for China in the long term. I think I might have to switch host countries down the road.

Re:One problem with this plan (1, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 6 years ago | (#21107081)

No. No it's not.

Nobody's forcing you to like Al Gore; Insurance Companies [cnn.com] are quite convinced they see a lot of downside risk in climate change going forward, and they're the ones that are going to see the bills first.

we deserve what we get -- which is the end of our superpower status

That was going to happen regardless of anything.

Re:One problem with this plan (2, Informative)

kf6auf (719514) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106987)

First of all, companies will maximize profits. When they have to build a new plant, they will build the one that provides what they need for the cheapest amount even if they can supposedly pass on the added expense to the consumer. The problem is that as rates go up, people will use less electricity from the grid (whether by running air conditioners less or buying rooftop solar for homes or businesses), and reduce the profit of the companies.

Second, with sanctioned monopolies, they often cannot raise prices without showing the government that it is necessary, and choosing the build expensive plants when they could be building cheaper ones is not going to convince people that they are trying to keep costs down.

Finally, you're not looking at the electricity industry correctly because demand for electricity peaks based on the time of year and the time of day. Plants with low variable costs always operate whenever they can while plants with high variable costs only operate when there is high demand. By taxing pollution, they are raising the variable costs of plants based on the pollution they generate. This means that plants that pollute more will have to charge more and therefore be on less. Furthermore, this will mean that the return on investment will be lower for high-pollution plants and so in the long run more low-pollution plants will be built.

Re:One problem with this plan (0)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21107023)

Actually, this one is easy. The U.S. has cleaned up industrial pollution every decade since the 70's. Even global warming alarmists will tell you that its underdeveloped nations that are the big problem. That doesn't stop environmentalists from capitalizing on the chaos they are themselves inciting. Just the other day I heard a reporter comment to an interviewee "Some say that global warming doesn't exist." That's inflammatory. Why? Because if you don't believe it's being caused by man then you are "guilty" of not thinking it's real at all. You're thrown in to bed with those who deny the holocaust. The U.S. and our industry isn't the problem and we shouldn't be bearing the brunt of the so-called "solution." I got news for you: the Earth is getting warmer with or without us. It's called a cycle. And if we go meddling with this process why aren't we just as guilty of disturbing mother nature as those the environmentalist want to keep out of ANWAR?

Re:One problem with this plan (1)

Fry-kun (619632) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106715)

That's actually part of the long-term strategy. Another part of it is the consumer's ability to choose the power supplier.
In short, what this new plan does is, it increases the cost of running non-environment-friendly power plants, while staying away from the costs of "green" alternatives. The coal-burning company will raise their rates - and thus lose more customers to cleaner alternatives.

Granted, this will have a big effect on low-income households - but that can be helped with tax breaks & such.

Re:One problem with this plan (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21106333)

This is a bad thing? Companies being forced to pay the full price of the pollution they cause and users being forced to absorb that price on the sticker of the choices they make. That's the free market at work.

Re:One problem with this plan (2)

dosius (230542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106389)

It's not a free market when you can't walk with your feet. Around here there is ONE electric company, ONE natural gas company, ONE phone company, ONE cable company. You don't have choice.

(BTW, Upstate New York. We get fucked up the ass hard because of those dinks down in the big city.)

-uso.

Re:One problem with this plan (1)

Kenrod (188428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106567)

Spitzer knows that and he knows consumers are going to pay the higher costs. Thus it's unlikely that the power companies will have incentive to replace coal plants with cleaner sources of electricity, which is what we really need.

Re:One problem with this plan (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106759)

That despite living down the road from a hydroelectric plant. :/

-uso.
(Niagara Falls, NY mind j00)

Re:One problem with this plan (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106917)

Near term, the answer is to turn off the coal plants. Period.

Sure, over the next 20 years or so other types of electric generation can be tried out. Nuclear doesn't appear to be an answer because of the hippy protests. Wind is basically unreliable over long periods - there are few places that have the wind blowing 24x7. Solar is interesting, but outside of Arizona and Nevada solar isn't very reliable either - and it is environmentally very expensive.

Doing something with the carbon emissions seems to be also unpopular and unlikely to get much support. It allows the generators to keep turning and keep putting out electricity. The answer right now is to turn them off. Darken the cities at night. People can go back to reading by candlelight. Or go to bed like they did on farms in the 1800s.

Re:One problem with this plan (3, Insightful)

Kenrod (188428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106521)

This is a bad thing? Companies being forced to pay the full price of the pollution they cause and users being forced to absorb that price on the sticker of the choices they make. That's the free market at work.

It's a good thing if examined in a vacuum (assuming the ludicrous notion of CO2 being a pollutant, or that you could accurately figure out the damage caused by climate change within trillions of dollars).

When you consider China and India doing nothing to pass those costs on to their users, you don't have a free market. You have the US destroying their competitiveness (and their ability to innovate) while doing little to solve the problem on a global scale (it is called "global warming").

Guys like Spitzer are always the first to attack private business. A better solution would be to offer tax incentives to companies that want to replace coal plants with clean power sources, including nuclear. But you won't see Spitzer proposing that because it's a truly innovative idea. Suing the Feds and attacking business is the easy way out.

Re:One problem with this plan (4, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21107015)

When you consider China and India doing nothing to pass those costs on to their users, you don't have a free market. You have the US destroying their competitiveness ... while doing little to solve the problem on a global scale
On the other hand it is rather hard to ask India and China to do much of anything in the way of reducing emissions, or making polluters pay the costs, if you don't do anything yourself. Either you just spiral down into a lose lose situation for everyone, or someone decides to stand up and take the first step. As long as the US, which is by far the largest source of CO2 on a per capita basis, is doing nothing to curb emissions it is rather hard to put much pressure on China to step up to the plate. If the US is serious about being a world leader then they'll be brave enough to step up and do what is right, rather than cower with paranoia.

Re:One problem with this plan (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 6 years ago | (#21107041)

When you consider China and India doing nothing to pass those costs on to their users, you don't have a free market. You have the US destroying their competitiveness (and their ability to innovate) while doing little to solve the problem on a global scale (it is called "global warming").

The fewer countries that fail to make an effort to solve the problem, the less people the remaining bad actors will have to point to and say that they don't need to do anything.

What, you didn't think that the Chinese and the Indians don't point to us when people claims that they need to do better?

The problem is people like you who seem to think that our country doesn't need to act until everybody else has acted first. With that kind of attitude, no one ever will.

Re:One problem with this plan (5, Insightful)

alan_dershowitz (586542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106407)

We're being taxed and surcharged into oblivion, and we're passing the savings on to you!
You're already being charged for pollution, in fact everyone is, in the costs of having to deal with the problems of pollution. What sucks is that a company can socialize the costs of pollution while privatizing the benefits. Currently I pay less as a polluter by not having to build a new plant, while everyone pays for the pollution cleanup. On the other hand, assessing a penalty according to the amount of pollution coming out of any particular plant has the twin effect of disincentivizing pollution and more fairly distributing the costs of dealing with that pollution (providing the assessed taxes are used for that purpose, which they should be.) This is cheaper and fairer, unless you are looking at it from the perspective of a heavy polluter.

Re:One problem with this plan (1)

Kenrod (188428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106605)

I don't think you are disincentivizing pollution from the producers standpoint if their bottom line remains the same. If they just raise their rates to cover the costs of polluting, they have no incentive to replace coal plants with something cheaper. The end user will likely not reduce the amount of energy they use unless the cost increase is sizable (consider the fact that gasoline usage has not fallen even though gas is much more expensive now than several years ago).

Re:One problem with this plan (2, Insightful)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106637)

How does it act as a disincentive when they can pass the cost directly to the consumer with no worry of losing business??

Re:One problem with this plan (2, Informative)

emok (162266) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106765)

If the cost of energy increases, consumers have a greater incentive to conserve. It happens all the time with gasoline prices: when the price rises, people drive less and buy more fuel efficient autos.

You could argue that consumers aren't currently paying for the total cost of energy anyway, since the government is often responsible for cleaning up pollution.

Re:One problem with this plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21106873)

If the cost of energy increases, consumers have a greater incentive to conserve. It happens all the time with gasoline prices: when the price rises, people drive less and buy more fuel efficient autos.
And for lower income people who don't live in a 30,000 square foot mansion that is fully lighted 24/7 and who might not even own a car? Raise their prices 100% too, screw 'em. Oh, what, we need more subsidies? Lets make a new tax on some people to relieve the guilt from our other tax.

You could argue that consumers aren't currently paying for the total cost of energy anyway, since the government is often responsible for cleaning up pollution.
And just where does the government get it's money from again? Oh yeah, the people via taxation. So you could argue that people are already paying for the clean up of pollution prior to adding another layer of bureaucracy and inefficiency on it.

Re:One problem with this plan (4, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106905)

If the cost of energy increases, consumers have a greater incentive to conserve. It happens all the time with gasoline prices: when the price rises, people drive less and buy more fuel efficient autos.
You must be joking... the roads are crawling with SUVs and other vehicles that consider 24MPG to be EXCELLENT gas mileage.

Re:One problem with this plan (1)

E++99 (880734) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106841)

There's a minor flaw in that argument: CO2 isn't pollution and there is no cost to "cleaning it up." (Actually there is a NEGATIVE cost to cleaning it up, as the world's food crops, forests, and other vegetation consume it faster the greater ts concentration, which results in more food, forests and vegetation for everyone.)

Re:One problem with this plan (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21107077)

Disincentivizing pollution from power plants won't work. Coal plants represent a great deal of base power production, meaning that they are always on even during non-peak hours. There's not a lot of slop to play around with, so pollution won't actually decrease as long as the power plants can just raise their rates instead of installing pollution-reduction equipment. With coal in such a dominant position in the US, there's not enough competition to prevent that from happening.

The right way to go about this is to offer positive incentives to companies that are developing alternative power sources into cost-effective solutions. One could argue that the revenues from pollution disincentives could be piped directly into alternative energy incentives. However, one should also realize that the left wing would have an easier time of soaking the rich by doing it themselves through taxes, instead of going through the energy industry (since poor people have to pay their electric bills, too). The only explanation for the left wing not doing it that way is that fining the power companies makes for better headlines.

This FP is not a troll.. (-1, Flamebait)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106471)

Also NY (socialist hellhole that it is, dominated by NYC and Buffalo politics) and "other north eastern states"... hmmm... let me think, Marxistchussets and Vermont? Perhaps Maine? How about Neue Jersei and Pennsylvania? I mean, I'm sure they said "and other states" because the list reads like a whos who of socialist control freak locales.

Cute! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21106635)

It's so cute how you come up with funny nicknames for everything instead of forming a rational argument. Keep up the good work.

Re:One problem with this plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21106511)

Eliot Spitzer is a certfied whack job. He used state troopers and IRS against political opposition. He is giving drivers licenses to illegals and now these costs will just be passsed on to citizens - a reason Michael Bloomburg stated he wont fine utilities. This sort of dysfunctional personality is characertistic of the emotion based irrational thinking that is like an auto-immune disease on the left. New York is in serious trouble.

Re:One problem with this plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21106673)

NY already has the largest debt of any state, had it's budget grow by 10% this year, is bleeding business away due to overtaxation, is losing the 20 and 30 somethings to the southern and western states, spends more on Medicaid than California and Texas combined, is growing more geriatric and the biggest growth sector is government. NYC might be sitting pretty but the rest of the state is dying pretty fast. The last thing upstate needs is an even more hostile environment for businesses and families. Hey, I know, lets throw $50 million at a company to move 10 miles and another $250 million to create a combination bus terminal/performing arts theater/college campus. Why, the uppity theater goers will just love mingling with the bums and the college already has a campus downtown that nobody wants to use.

We really need some more idiotic tax and spend ideas so that the last of the private industry leaves and NYC can foot the bill statewide for it's policies.

Six Month Notice (2, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106247)

I submitted this story a while ago for California [usatoday.com]. Something I found interesting from that article is at the bottom:

California is required to announce its intention to sue the federal government six months before it does so.
I assume this is true of all the states so you should note that this isn't something that's going to happen today unless they announced it six months ago.

Re:Six Month Notice (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106551)

The move comes as New York and other Northeastern states are stepping up their push for tougher regulation of greenhouse gases as part of their continuing opposition to President Bush's policies.
Notice how the writer dismisses the efforts as being part of the states' "continuing opposition to President Bush's policies"? It couldn't be because they are sick of nothing being done about greenhouse emissions. No, it has to be liberal vs. conservative, Right vs. Left, Good vs. Evil, The USA vs. Bush. It just goes to show miserable the state of reporting is today. Instead of looking for the truth, every issue has to have "two sides", and every problem has to be framed as some sort of 50/50 battle. Fortunately, the real numbers don't break down that way. By far most Americans believe that greenhouse emissions caused by humans are causing global warming. Most Americans want the War in Iraq to end now and the troops brought home. Most Americans believe George Bush has done a terrible job. But the Media insists on portraying everything as an evenly balanced fight.

It's because the Media has been mau-mau'd to death and is now afraid to look for the truth. Whenever they try to get to the heart of a matter, they are attacked for being "liberal".

I can understand that the Right has beaten the Media to death, but it doesn't excuse them losing their courage completely.

The good news is I have a feeling the BS isn't working as well as it used to. More and more, people I encounter from all walks of life and all ends of the political spectrum are ignoring the talk radio goons and Fox News and can see through the crap. Despite their best efforts, the assault on the middle class in America is bringing a lot of former political enemies back together.

Re:Six Month Notice (1, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106831)

As for states suing the Feds to force auto manufacturers to decrease emissions, why don't they just do it themselves? California has strict emission control policies. Why can't the rest of these states.

Better yet, they can just stop repairing their roads.

By far most Americans believe that greenhouse emissions caused by humans are causing global warming
Because that is exactly what they are told.... over and over and over again. Many scientists, geologists and meteorologists disagree. Those are the ones that don't get grants and do get fired. No wonder they don't speak out.

Most Americans want the War in Iraq to end now and the troops brought home

Unless you know "most Americans" or run a polling company, you probably shouldn't be making such claims. Maybe you should know the facts before you spout off.

From HERE [pollingreport.com]:

"From what you have seen or heard about the situation in Iraq, what should the United States do now? Should the U.S. increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, keep the same number of U.S. troops in Iraq as there are now, decrease the number of troops in Iraq, or remove all its troops from Iraq?"
Only 29% answered "remove all". This was before the news that violence has been reduced 70% since the surge. If that gets reported, who knows what that number will be.

The good news is I have a feeling the BS isn't working as well as it used to.
Not as long as there are people like me who gladly look up your BS and call you out on it.

Re:Six Month Notice (5, Informative)

rrkap (634128) | more than 6 years ago | (#21107051)

As for states suing the Feds to force auto manufacturers to decrease emissions, why don't they just do it themselves? California has strict emission control policies. Why can't the rest of these states.

That isn't how air quality regulations work. Under the Clean Air Act, setting auto emissions standards is the exclusive responsibility of the Federal Government. However, because California had stricter emissions standards in place when the Clean Air Act was first passed, California (and only California) was granted a waiver to set its own standards which can be adopted by other states if they choose. This waiver doesn't apply to vehicular CO2 emissions. California (with other states) has already won a suit saying that EPA must grant such a waiver, however EPA has not done so. Thus, they are suing again, this time asking the court to order EPA to do so immediately.

As things currently stand, no state can regulate tailpipe CO2 emissions. When California wins their lawsuit, then states will be able to choose weather to follow CA CO2 regulations or to follow the Federal do-nothing approach.

Re:Six Month Notice (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#21107119)

That isn't how air quality regulations work. Under the Clean Air Act, setting auto emissions standards is the exclusive responsibility of the Federal Government. However, because California had stricter emissions standards in place when the Clean Air Act was first passed, California (and only California) was granted a waiver to set its own standards which can be adopted by other states if they choose. This waiver doesn't apply to vehicular CO2 emissions. California (with other states) has already won a suit saying that EPA must grant such a waiver, however EPA has not done so. Thus, they are suing again, this time asking the court to order EPA to do so immediately.

As things currently stand, no state can regulate tailpipe CO2 emissions. When California wins their lawsuit, then states will be able to choose weather to follow CA CO2 regulations or to follow the Federal do-nothing approach.


Thank you. Very informative.

Re:Six Month Notice (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106603)

Me thinks California needs to submit a few forms to some non compliant forests in terms of greenhouse emissions the last few days...

Unconstitutional? (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106279)

While the federal government routinely, and with the blessing of the Supreme court, passes laws that blatantly violate the commerce clause I would think CO2 emissions are clearly interstate commerce making this suit baseless.

Re:Unconstitutional? (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106361)

I was thinking the exact opposite, that I just wish the federal government would step back and let the states deal with it. The constitution was intended to keep the federal government from being the end all authority and keep the states as the primary governing body for most cases. From a stricter constitutional perspective, the EPA should allow all the state restrictions the states want to put on as long as they still fulfill the restrictions of the EPA.

Re:Unconstitutional? (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106399)

The problem here is that green house gases haven't yet learned how to stop at state and national borders; which seems to put them in the Interstate Commerce clause of the the Constitution. The states have only limited power to legislate the greenhouse gases produced within their borders.

Re:Unconstitutional? (1)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106499)

Umm isn't that what they are doing? Passing laws about pollution generated in their states? I can't see how that falls under interstate commerce And If it does fall under interstate commerce, would that invalidate smog laws in california and other states that have implemented similiar type of laws?

Re:Unconstitutional? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106515)

The problem is that when the pollution and greenhouse gases are from out of state, then the states are screwed. If Nevada builds a big motherfucking coal-burning plant three inches from the border, California is pretty much powerless unless the Federal government gets involved.

Re:Unconstitutional? (1)

InvalidError (771317) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106997)

I think the point was more like: states can pass all the environment quality improvement laws they can dream of, they will still be adversely affected by neighboring states that have lesser (if any) standards. Since a state cannot force environmental standards on its neighbors, the next best thing they can do is petition the feds for improved national standards to nudge dissident states one step closer to the greener states' standards.

You can ban atmospheric lead all you want in your state, you will never reach your target of 0ppb if anyone within 500km (interstate) uses leaded gasoline or incinerates leaded electronics.

CO2 might not be particularly dangerous but if one state makes efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, I think it would have a legitimate reason to be somewhat cheezed off that its neighbors are increasing theirs. High environmental standards in one state are impossible to achieve if neighbors have ridiculously low standards since they share the same airspace and rivers... sounds interstate enough to me.

Re:Unconstitutional? (2, Informative)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106415)

Rivers in most states eventually flow into a different state, too, but that doesn't mean that states can't restrict or ban water pollution. The CO2 can be defined a pollutant as soon as it leaves the vehicle, while it is still wholly contained within the state of the car (or power plant or factory) that emitted it.

Now if they tried to apply this ruling to vehicles merely crossing through their state, as opposed to those registered to drivers in that state, with state license plates, then yes, I agree that the courts could intervene. Pretty soon belching trucks from Mexico will be all over the US, and I bet there's nothing any state can do about those.

Cars aren't even the majority of emissions (2, Interesting)

Erioll (229536) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106287)

Up in Canada where the Kyoto wealth transfer plan (that's what it is, make no mistake) was ratified, we had a quite simple statement told to us: if we stopped every train, plane, and automobile in the entire country tomorrow, we STILL wouldn't meet the Kyoto targets (which is something like 30-40% below where we are now).

So yes, cars are a part of it, but they are NOT the "things holding you up" here.

And if somebody could provide links on this, I'd be grateful.

Re:Cars aren't even the majority of emissions (-1, Troll)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106507)

THIS man is someone who gets it.

Kyoto is nothing more than the "take money from the West in general and America in particular" plan. Which is why Bush wisely decided to have nothing to do with it. It's goals are intentionally impossible to meet for Western societies while the most populous nation on earth, China, is completely exempted from them!

The funny part is, THIS is the treaty that is supposed to save us from "manmade global warming", but we can't even come CLOSE to meeting it without murdering a massive amount of the population of the globe (in order to reduce consumption to levels low enough to meet the treaty) and returning to a bronze-age lifestyle (togas and rotten meat, anyone?). It's a stupid fantasy cooked up by enviro-communists designed to destroy the economies of democratic nations so that "big brother" can step in and make us all Comrades.

No thank you, I like my technology, my automobiles and my Freedom, thank you very much. The morons suing in these states should be taken out and shot, or at the very least disbarred and jailed for treason.

Re:Cars aren't even the majority of emissions (1)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106937)

Dude - you need to get back on the meds! We don't shoot people or jail them for treason when they attempt to follow or amend the law in this country. Try China if you like governments that run that way.

This is a simple state's rights/federal rights issue. The states want to *cough* create additional revenue streams *cough* improve the air quality and the feds don't want to screw with the free flow of commerce. (That commerce clause has frequently been used as a federalist beat stick)

However, if you don't like the laws the state you live in passes? Move! You're free to, any time you like.
If the fed takes up the standards, then it becomes a much nastier issue.

Re:Cars aren't even the majority of emissions (4, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106545)

I think to get improvements in the 30-40% range you need to make serious changes on all fronts. Buildings seem to be the largest consumer of energy, at least in the US, I'm assuming the same is true for Canada.

current energy use in buildings represents 39 percent of all energy use in the U.S. -- more than industrial or even transportation usage. It concludes that by 2020 building energy use can be reduced by 14 percent and total national energy use could be cut by 5.6 percent through the implementation of short-term, realistic energy policies.http://www.nirs.org/alternatives/factoid11.htm [nirs.org]


But I think the more drastic changes that will help meet Kyoto targets are in the area of where power comes from. When the wealth redistribution costs to a country outweigh the cost of installing solar panels on every rooftop, then there will be change in that country. The same holds true for making more efficient cars or mass transit or wind farms, they will only ever be "the norm" when they cost less than just burning more fossil fuels. That Kyoto-carbon-tax is helping to push that day a little closer.

Re:Cars aren't even the majority of emissions (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106985)

Depends on where in canada you are referring to. Hydro-electric conservation wouldnt exactly help emissions, despite reducing consumption of power.

Re:Cars aren't even the majority of emissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21106809)

Honestly I'm not too well informed about the specifics about Kyoto, but I do know that you guys produce more CO2 than we do per person, and I've been told that Canada's terrain and location has some effects that make it tougher for you to get it under control than it would for us.

Also, fuels like coal make up a third of CO2 production, whereas fuels like gasoline also make up a third.

It's usually the other way around... (3, Interesting)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106291)

The telling thing is that the various northeastern states are pushing the Bush administration for tighter emission regulations. Usually, it's the other way around - local politicians seek to fend off draconian federal policies that might cripple local industry. The amazing thing is that they're suing the EPA itself, and my professional experience is that many scientists associated with the EPA are incredibly concerned about the impact of greenhouse gases on the environment. They're forced to keep quiet and follow the mandate passed down by a perplexingly out-of-touch executive team in the White House.

Bwahahahahaha! (3, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106297)

Is there any special meta-meta-mod points out there for reading this with "Chevron... the power of human energy" above it? I wasn't aware humans consumed petroleum-based hydrocarbons and shit out CO2.

Thou fartest not? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106483)

Is there any special meta-meta-mod points out there for reading this with "Chevron... the power of human energy" above it? I wasn't aware humans consumed petroleum-based hydrocarbons and shit out CO2.

Perhaps you are the one person in the world incapable of passing wind. Congrats. Perhaps we do not directly consume petroleum-base hydrocarbons, but we consume a great many things which would not be produced, or at lease in quantity at low cost, without the benefit of relatively inexpensive petrol. The beans you eat, the beer you drink, well, they are produced with heavy reliance on petrol and are transported to your local seller by vehicles using petrol.

NIMBY (0)

overshoot (39700) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106349)

Works for me. Clamp down on all greenhouse gas emissions, for that matter. Tax CO2 emissions at something like a dollar per kilogram and we could have a budget surplus for the first time in living memory.

What's more, it makes for a great prosperity plan for developing nations, who can build economies around providing power (etc.) to countries like the USA.

Re:NIMBY (1)

grilled_ch33z (1140073) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106517)

Absolutely! And think of all the additional revenue the states will receive through sales tax when the prices of goods triple!

Re:NIMBY (1)

AxemRed (755470) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106519)

Yes, that's a great idea! Move the pollution to other countries where we can't regulate it at all...

Re:NIMBY (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106915)

Works for me. Clamp down on all greenhouse gas emissions, for that matter. Tax CO2 emissions at something like a dollar per kilogram and we could have a budget surplus for the first time in living memory.

Hate to be a killjoy, but as human beings, we expel carbon dioxide as a part of daily life. Want to rethink that?

Give the man a see-gar! (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 6 years ago | (#21107135)

Hate to be a killjoy, but as human beings, we expel carbon dioxide as a part of daily life. Want to rethink that?
Yes -- which makes tax evasion really tough!

If you think people are major emitters, though, you should have a look at farmland.

This sucker is a freaking gold mine!

Stupid Slashdot NYT submission. Again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21106379)

What the h*** is it with all of these stupid NY Times article submissions that require a login? Gawd, these are annoying.

hmmm (2, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106421)

Now watch all the states-rights conservatives suddenly jump to the other side of the divide and argue the federal government should get its way.

Re:hmmm (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106491)

I honestly don't think there are that many real States Rights types around. The Republicans aren't, they just mouth it (along with other nonsense like "fiscally conservative" and "family values") because a lot of their base are religious mental retards who are capable of recognizing little past sloganeering. "Look, let's dump shit in this river because that's STATES RIGHTS!" to which the religious mental retards will go "Uh duh, yeah, Jeebus loves shit in rivers" or "Let's ban federal money for stem cell research!" to which the religious mental retards will go "Uh duh, yeah, 'cause Jesus hates cripples!"

Re:hmmm (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106655)

I honestly don't think there are that many real States Rights types around. The Republicans aren't, they just mouth it

Ron Paul is a Republican representative with a (farfetched) presidential bid, but he certainly seems to be a staunch supporter of states' rights.

Re:hmmm (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106669)

Now watch all the states-rights conservatives suddenly jump to the other side of the divide and argue the federal government should get its way.

Of course. "States rights" isn't some sort of coherent ideology. It's the convenient political pose of whoever happens to be on the losing side of the votes. There's no such thing as a "states rights" conservative with any practical influence in Washington, and the ones you meet in everyday life or read on the Internet generally seem to miss the forest for the trees. Or, at least, they fail to remember that we tried operating as a loose confederation of states once before, and it sucked seven ways to Sunday.

Show Pony (2, Informative)

pwykersotz (920731) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106473)

Oh yes, this is sure to work. Get a few legislators in a minority of states to sue the president's administration. Nothing could possibly go wrong with this! This is a stunt, and a ridiculous one at that. Why not put energy into doing something real instad of wasting time like this? It won't even get people on the side of the activists...people who agree with the suit are already driving hybrids and eating out of their back garden, people who don't aren't going to even care.

Re:Show Pony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21106579)

people who agree with the suit are already driving hybrids and eating out of their back garden

Unless you're planning to buy me a nice house with a back garden and a hybrid in the garage, please don't be so quick to judge. In case you haven't noticed, people can't all afford to live their ideal lives these days.

Smog is slowing global warming! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21106555)

Smog is slowing global warming according to this PBS http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/3310_sun.html [pbs.org] and other studies. We need to prevent solar radiation from hitting the ground until the green house gases are lowered. If humans are really causing global warming, then the temperature will slowly go down. Once the temperature begins to lower AND statistically can be proven, then the smog can slowly be lowered over decades.

We have to keep our smog emissions up or we'll cause more global warming, not less by reducing green house gases!
http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/PBS_show_asserts_greenhouse_gases,_atmospheric_pollutants_dimming_future [wikinews.org]

As usual, the masses get an oversimplified solution to a complex problem when the science is inconclusive. None of these problems or solutions will ever be discussed or provided in enough detail outside a conference setting to not be dumbed down. Certainly don't completely trust a movie, newspaper article, or even a magazine article. Heck, it they can't spell every name correctly in the article, why would you expect them to get the science correct within the word limit too? A scientist will provide an upper and lower estimate for an outcome and document the assumptions that go into those predictions. Sadly, a journalist will condense that into the "could" phrase paired with the worst case possible, because that will get your attention. They will use alarming headlines EVEN if those headlines are the best guess, but simply the worst case.

Politicians will grab onto either the worse or best case dependent on their goals, who lobbies and contributes the most. If they can't discuss both sides at length and only say their sides talking points, hold onto your wallet, it is going to cost you money and may be really bad for us all.

And don't discount that scientist don't get publicity without always saying that "more study is needed" to determine other unknowns. That's a trick I used in grad school to get grant money with my adviser. More study is always needed ... so he could make mortgage payments next semester and I could afford new jeans.

Be a critical thinker and reader.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. (2, Insightful)

GruntboyX (753706) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106563)

I am all for improving the environment, but this is only going to come at the cost of public. The power companies are only going to have to install more equipment to filter emissions, in drastic cases they will have to spend lots of capital to implement renewable technologies. This will result in the PUC authorizing a rate increase, because lets face it, This stuff isn't free. In the end, the average joe will pay for higher power. Since everyone shares the same goal of reducing carbon emissions i doubt anyone will complain /sarcasm

Re:Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. (1)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106679)

Of course it's going to cost money; this is something that's intended to benefit everybody, so everybody gets to pay. Seems fair. Unfortunately, something as intangible as environmental protection simply isn't going to be popular, so people complain. I agree that there are bound to be problems with attempts to regulate pollution, and people will point fingers and say how one cock-up is exactly why this is a bad idea, even if we manage to succeed somewhere else. In the end, it's all a matter of "you gotta start somewhere." Contrary to popular belief, it's not going to get better on its own.

Why is this even on Slashdot? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21106575)

In Politics?

Think about this...A coalition of states want to sue the Federal government for not writing a law telling them not to pollute... when they've already turned around and built a state's coalition to write laws so that they won't pollute.

Inarguably one of the dumbest things I've ever heard of.

But hey, it's against BOOOOSSSHHH!!! And we're starting the election season... EARLY.. So up on the front page it goes...

Re:Why is this even on Slashdot? (2, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106717)

No, it's about the states wanting to write those laws, and the administration saying they can't because the Feds haven't.

Re:Why is this even on Slashdot? (1)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106847)

No, it's about the states wanting to write those laws, and the administration saying they can't because the Feds haven't.

And to add, our Federal Gov. has a tendency to strike down the state laws when a lobbying group, such as the auto manufacturers, doesn't want it. The states, by suing, are more apt to get a real law as opposed to some water downed law written by the auto, oil, etc... industries.

I really think we need another State's rights movement in this country. It's too bad that state's rights has become equated with slavery.

Arrrrgh! (2, Insightful)

rindeee (530084) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106581)

This kind of crap drives me batty. Qualifier: I'm not a hippie. I don't like the Prius. I vote conservative (do NOT confuse this for Republican). Anyway, if you want to make a difference, park your damn car and ride your bike. Don't own a bike? Take a months worth of gas money and buy a really REALLY nice one. Live too far to commute? You probably don't (you'll get used to the distance), but if you really do, move closer to work. Winter too harsh? Buy studded tires (as in studded car tires for snow and ice) for you bike and wear winter riding clothes. We in the US are a bunch of whiny, bitchy cry-babies. We want to fix things by making others do something about the problem of our own causing (make the engines pollute less, not me). I'm all for efficient engines and such, but alternatives already exist. Each one of us has the ability to make changes TODAY that will have an enormous impact. Not only that, but I AND the hippies will be happy. I'll have the pleasure of not seeing bazillions of dollars go to oppressive middle-eastern countries that would just assume we all die and some communist jackass in South America, and hippies will stop crying about inconvenient truths and whatnot and go back to eating $8 double-dip cones at Ben and Jerry's. Keep your car, but use it only when you really need to, not when you're too lazy not to.

Re:Arrrrgh! (5, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106707)

Amusing. The party of "State's Rights" arguing against the right of states to make their own tougher regulations.

Ironic.

Re:Arrrrgh! (1)

E++99 (880734) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106747)

Here's a better idea. Drive your car wherever you want to go; drill in Alaska; deport Gore.

Re:Arrrrgh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21107111)

Get a job.

Typical sue-ing mentality ? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21106583)

Now, bear with me since I'm not from the US and as such I'm probably biased as well as unfamiliar with some things. But having said that I cannot help wonder.. Whenever I see some detectives on TV or talk to friends who happen to be American I'm always confronted with the issue of the states. To me the closest thing resembleing this are Germanies "Bunds" (Bundesrepubliek Deutschland).

If I'm not mistaken you can have different laws across states. One state can have a more closer or looser regulation on gun control. And ofcourse this is also fed by the classic car chases where the culprit races to the state border and once he gets across he's basicly home free. So different states, different laws, different approaches on how to run things.

Now having said that I cannot help wonder here. If you're so worried about the environment why don't you simply put your efforts into "cleaning up" your particular state instead of (more easily ofcourse) blaming it all on one man and start the (to me:) typical selfish American approach of sueing? To me this looks like the classic example of "I wasn't hired to do that" and so you also don't take any responsibility for your own actions and instead start blaming others over it. Like that woman in the McDonalds; appearantly she wasn't aware that coffee should be hot and as such McDonalds was responsible when the stupid -censored- spilled her coffee. How was she supposed to know coffee would be hot?

I'm not a fan of the Bush administration at all. To me this is the worst president the US has ever got and it saddens me that so many people don't even seem to realize this (yet?). Still, I think you're going too far by simply blaming everything, including your own shortcomings, on him. There is a difference (to me) between "Bush threatens the free world" (which, IMO, holds much truth) or "Bush ate my hamster" (I could be mistaken but iirc he isn't visiting Europe... or is he?!!) :-)

Re:Typical sue-ing mentality ? (1)

LukeCage (1007133) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106965)

Actually your famous "dumb lady coffee cup story" is not as ridiculous as it appears at first glance. Perhaps you could check out this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald's_coffee_case [wikipedia.org] ...which makes several excellent points.

Highlights for the lazy:

That "dumb old lady" was taken to the hospital, where it was determined that she had suffered third-degree burns on six percent of her skin and lesser burns over sixteen percent. She remained in the hospital for eight days while she underwent skin grafting. Two years of treatment followed.

She sought to settle with McDonald's for US $20,000 to cover her medical costs, which were $11,000, but the company offered only $800.

During the case, attorneys discovered that McDonald's required franchises to serve coffee at 180-190 F (that's almost boiling temperature, FYI). At that temperature, the coffee would cause a third-degree burn in two to seven seconds.

Other documents obtained from McDonald's showed that from 1982 to 1992 the company had received more than 700 reports of people burnt by McDonald's coffee to varying degrees of severity, and had settled claims arising from scalding injuries for more than $500,000.

The MILLIONS part of the suite was PUNITIVE; that means: designed to PUNISH McDonald's, not to award the plaintiff. Jurors apparently arrived at this figure from attorney's suggestions to penalize McDonald's for one or two days worth of coffee revenues, which were about $1.35 million per day.

In other words, this case was not as ridiculous as it first appears.

Actually, it is California that is filing (0)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106615)

In the initial claim, California is filing suit, with Oregon, Washington, and Vermont joining, so it's more that the Northeastern states are following the West's lead on this issue. You can see that in the Seattle PI lead editorial [nwsource.com] today.

However, due to the fact that we're kind of distracted by more than one million internal refugees from the global warming enhanced wildfires in California, we didn't file today so the Northeast jumped the gun.

Regardless, this represents more than 60 percent of the US economy filing suit, and most of the US population.

Re:Actually, it is California that is filing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21106849)


However, due to the fact that we're kind of distracted by more than one million internal refugees from the global warming enhanced wildfires in California, we didn't file today so the Northeast jumped the gun.


OK. Reality check.

I was one of those refugees this week. Just got back to find my house still standing today. I think Al Gore has done good and that we SHOULD try to devise policies to mitigate our impact on the environment (for economic as well as aesthetic reasons)

However.

Blaming the wildfires on global warming is nuts. The west (especially the southwest) always has burned, and it always will burn. It is the nature of the place. When the Santa Ana winds blow in a dry year, it can't do anything BUT burn.

Look into the history of any town in California that has been around for a while and you will find that it burned at least once (probably several times)

The impact of the fires in the west are aggravated MUCH MORE by housing developments in the canyons and hills (which WILL burn, it is just a matter of time) than by global warming.

Just as after Katrina, we should have given more thought to NOT rebuilding in the most vulnerable areas, we should give thought to NOT rebuilding the most vulnerable areas in California, but money will say otherwise and money will win.

The problem here is short sighted development.

Blaming everything bad that happens on global warming just makes it easy to laugh at.

Re:Actually, it is California that is filing (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106963)

Regardless, this represents more than 60 percent of the US economy filing suit, and most of the US population.

Then wouldn't it be safe to assume that this is where most of the pollution is coming from?

Senate (1)

TechwoIf (1004763) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106645)

This is one reason I though the senate part of congress should be elected by the states so they have a bigger part and say in the federal government. And much to my surprise, there is one candidate that support this. Ron Paul.

Re:Senate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21106851)

Yeah Ron Paul, because who wants rights for women?

Why won't the EPA let them? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21106653)

Ok, what am I missing? The states want different (stricter) regulations regarding the greenhouse gas producers (autos and power plants). Why does the EPA have an issue with that? Shouldn't the state be able to decide their own policies? As long as they meet EPA minimums where's the problem? The EPA doesn't even have to change whatever they are currently doing to ensure compliance. There could just be an additional set of steps the power company/auto manufacturer has to go through to verify they are meeting state standards...

I can certainly see how the power companies/auto manufacturers would hate this idea, but the EPA? What's going on here?

Nice (1, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106723)

I'm REALLY pleased to see this.
Its a great indicator that the American people are more intelligent, responsible and honest than their leader.

Simple answer (-1, Troll)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106743)

Turn off the power plants. It is the only solution that will have an immediate, state-by-state effect. No more coal-fired plants. No nuclear plants are going to be built in the near future, so that is out.

Wind power? Sure, we could ramp up the construction of wind turbines 100-fold, but that isn't a reliable power source. Geothermal? Sure, it could be done - but it isn't likely to happen anytime soon because of the geologic considerations except next door to an active volcano.

For the folks that have bought into the idea that Global Climate Change is something that humans can control and reverse, serious action is needed right now. How about some really dedicated folks going out and start destroying infrastructure so electric generation is reduced. How about stopping, by whatever means necessary, air travel? It is clear that some people aren't going to be convinced one way or the other without proof, so let's get some proof - one way or the other. Either humans are fully in control or they aren't. End the use of coal-fired power plants in the US next week and we can begin seeing some results.

Not just out of touch (2)

yo man (521761) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106797)

This administration is not merely out of touch with scientific reality. They are *actively* opposed to any kind of environmental progress. The recent "conference" that Bush had with various nations was intended to undermine the UN, not to make any kind of progress. Like lunatics that have taken over the asylum, they are actively pursuing an agenda of destroying the planet as fast as they can. Either they are the kind to cut of their noses (= the planet) to spite their faces (= the environmentalists) or they really do believe that driving a Hummer is their birthright and they can go and get what resources the need by building more weapons and starting more wars. F*cking retards.

Nice. (2, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106853)

I'm REALLY pleased to see this.
Its a great indicator that the American people are more responsible, intelligent and honest than their leader.

Why the Global Warming debate is important (3, Insightful)

Teancum (67324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21106899)

From both a liberal as well as conservative viewpoint, is precisely lawsuits like this.

For those of a conservative viewpoint, this is precisely the kind of thing that has been the worst of nightmares regarding the debate, where this is an attempt to broaden the power of the federal government and to enact legislation through judicial case law rather than through a body like the U.S. Congress.

From a strict constitutionalist viewpoint, state regulations are precisely what was envisioned by the founding fathers for issues like this. When faddish things like Global Warming (and concern about Global Warming is a fad right now, at least from a political perspective) come up, they should be debated by individual states and citizens of those states.

If left to develop on its own, without somebody crying "fowl" and demanding federal intervention, this "laboratory of American states" is precisely what is envisioned by the founders to see how political ideas like regulation of industries for CO2 gases was intended to develop. Legislation based upon the current wind of political thought was something the early founders of the American Republic feared the most, and it was intended to be a long and difficult process for a good reason, particularly when it governed the actions of individual citizens in relationship to each other, such as this sort of regulation is doing.

From a politically conservative viewpoint, you can still suggest environmental legislation. There is common ground that can come from this sort of debate and help us to genuinely protect the environment. But you need to frame it from a conservative viewpoint in terms of stewardship, liability, and responsibility. Cut the emotional garbage out about rising sea levels, rising temperatures, and a fear of the future. If you produce pollution, you need to clean up your own messes and be nice to your neighbors. You also shouldn't be wasteful of those resources that God has given to you, because ultimately you will be held responsible for your actions before HIM. Even if you dismiss God as a human construct, there is still the more vague "being held responsible by humanity as a whole" that still applies on some sort of level. I certainly don't mind government regulation that helps to reduce dependence on foreign energy sources and lowering of a trade deficit.

I also realize that some of this is about legislation that has already been through the meat grinder of Washington D.C., and these states are "merely" asking for those laws to be enforced. A problem here is that the legislation was deliberately vague, and the actual enforcement of these laws left to such broad interpretation, that nearly anything could be suggested in terms of what they really meant or how they can be put together. This lawsuit is a political move to force these national regulations (which arguably may not even be constitutional) to conform to a specific viewpoint that runs counter to the current presidential administration. A U.S. President shouldn't have even had this sort of authority delegated to him in the first place, but of course those pushing in support of this lawsuit already knew that, didn't they? So why should it be moved to the authority of nine men in black robes?

It is poor law and shouldn't have been enacted in the first place, no matter how lofty the goals were made. Going to the courts is just going to make an awful law even worse. It would be far better to go to the national legislature (aka Congress) and get new legislation passed that deals with this issue, if that is the ultimate goal.

Volcanos (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21107071)

We should use cars to plug up the volcanos which shoot ever so much polluntans into the air.
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  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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