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SCOTUS rejects appeal to review Kavanaugh ruling on Obama-era EPA regulations

SCOTUS rejects appeal to review Kavanaugh ruling on Obama-era EPA regulations

SCOTUS decision is a victory for sensible science and constitutional principles.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh is already demonstrating why he is my favorite Supreme Court justice.

Kavanaugh survived a confirmation “trial” that rivaled nearly anything seen on the TV series Game of Thrones. Then, on his first day on the job, the court refused to hear an appeal of a D.C. Circuit ruling that limited what the Environmental Protection Agency can do. As an extra bonus, Kavanaugh wrote the original ruling that was to be considered.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to take up a lawsuit challenging a lower court ruling written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh when he was a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The decision to pass on the case, announced during Kavanaugh’s first day as an associate justice, means the Supreme Court will not consider the lower court’s August 2017 ruling that struck down an Obama-era regulation pertaining to a greenhouse gas. Kavanaugh did not participate in the Supreme Court’s decision on whether to take up the case.

Kavanaugh authored the ruling that overturned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule on hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), commonly found in air conditioners and refrigerators. He argued that the federal government did not have the jurisdiction to regulate the gas under the Clean Air Act.

The EPA originally wanted companies to use HFCs, which were to replace chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The “settled science” was that CFCs destroyed ozone.

HFCs are made of carbon, fluorine and hydrogen. They are exclusively synthetic, meaning they have no known natural sources. To understand why they came into existence requires a quick history lesson.

Throughout the second half of the 20th century, another class of compounds called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were widely used. CFCs are very stable, which made them ideal for many practical uses, including in refrigeration, foam packaging, and even aerosol cans for hair spray.

However, scientists soon discovered that CFCs had a major downside. Because they are so stable, they can survive in the atmosphere long enough to eventually reach the ozone layer. Once there, they break down in sunlight and destroy ozone in the process.

The Montreal Protocol was a global agreement developed to stop this harmful ozone destruction. The protocol mandated a time frame to completely abolish CFCs. To replace them, new compounds were developed that do not destroy ozone: HFCs.

As an update, new satellite-based studies show the ozone hole is “healing”:

Scientists have shown through direct satellite observations of the ozone hole that levels of ozone-destroying chlorine are declining.

Measurements show that the decline in chlorine, resulting from an international ban on chlorine-containing man made chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), has resulted in about 20 percent less ozone depletion than there was in 2005 – the first year that measurements of chlorine and ozone during the Antarctic winter were made by NASA’s Aura satellite.

However, now HFCs are being deemed “global warming super pollutants“.

As one “crisis” is resolved, another must be created to replace it. The bureaucratic beast must be fed.

Any agency that wants to deem life-essential carbon dioxide as a “climate pollutant” can no longer be allowed to create legislation out of whole cloth and fake science. This SCOTUS decision is a victory for sensible science and constitutional principles.

It appears that Justice Kavanaugh began saving America business from regulatory insanity before his SCOTUS confirmation. That the particular regulations being rejected are from the Obama-era are the cherry on top of my political sundae.

I look forward to his future opinions, especially those involving the EPA.

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Comments

Colonel Travis | October 10, 2018 at 1:17 pm

When Kavanaugh was on the lower court, he was always, properly, deferential to SCOTUS. He wrote in that 2017 decision:

The Supreme Court cases that have dealt with EPA’s
efforts to address climate change have taught us two lessons
that are worth repeating here…

…Those bedrock separation of powers principles undergird our decision in this case. However much we might sympathize
or agree with EPA’s policy objectives, EPA may act only
within the boundaries of its statutory authority. Here, EPA
exceeded that authority.

If anyone wonders if he will “evolve” and turn into a squish, I don’t see that happening. He has too much of a record of not being a squish in the first place.

The whole CFC debate seems to have been predicated on campaign money to Bill Clinton. We used to use freon which is made by Dow. Then by executive order it was banned because of CFCs harming the ozone layer. What was never mentioned when it was banned is that the patent that Dow Chemical had on freon was running out. A few hundred thousand dollars of donations to the Clinton administration and suddenly we have a ban. No more freon to be used here in the United States. India and China of course were exempt.

Luckily for Americans, Dow Chemical serendipitously had a replacement ready. It was also more than twice as expensive as freon, and your air conditioner in your car had to be upgraded to use it because it would not work in the old style air conditioners.

Missing in the debate over CFCs is the fact that man-made chlorofluorocarbons don’t get very high in the atmosphere. They get up about as high as your average airplane, pulled up by the jets flying. But the breakdown of CFCs occurs at the very edge of the atmosphere, out there where the atmosphere ends and space begins. That’s 100 miles up.

How do CFCs get all the way up to the edge of space? Well naturally occurring CFCs are one of the many many gases belched forth by volcanoes. Just one volcanic eruption puts more naturally occurring CFCs into the atmosphere, at the edge of space, than all the man-made CFCs in history put together. And we have dozens of volcanic eruptions each year (at least 50).

This was reported in the early to mid 90s, when the freon ban was enacted, and totally ignored by everyone. It was also my Awakening to politics, I had never been interested in politics before but I didn’t realize that politics was interested in me. Because of politics, and a business wanting to continue making money, my auto mechanic bill went up $120 at a time that I didn’t have $120.

And let’s not mention the whole DDT debacle. So yeah, screw the EPA and its junk politics.

    Tom Servo in reply to RedEchos. | October 10, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Congratulations! You’re one of the few people who’s bothered to look behind the curtain and figure out why these bans REALLY happen.

    Another one – the move to do away with cheap incandescent light bulbs and make everyone buy LED’s, or whatever the latest thing is, at 10 times the price – that was completely driven by lobbyists from Phillips and General Electric, and other major manufacturers. Factories in Mexico were starting to put out incandescent bulbs at less than $1 per bulb, and there was no profit margin left in it anymore. So, guess what? A few key dollars given to a few key people, and suddenly incandescent light bulbs are OUT and expensive light bulbs are in! It’s all about maximizing profits for the big manufacturers who make big contributions, and all the enviro-crap is just blah blah blah for the proles.

      legacyrepublican in reply to Tom Servo. | October 13, 2018 at 2:56 pm

      Not so fast.

      True, the banning of Freon is because of ‘bad science.’

      However, the move to LED is because of good science and good business.

      While, as you say, it became cheaper to make an incandescent light bulb, the fact remains that the filament of an incandescent bulb has to run at full output in order to generate light.

      On the other hand, an LED, Light Emitting Diode, is another matter. A diode is a gate. It only allows only as much energy as is necessary to pass through the gate to produce light. For that reason, it is extremely energy efficient. That is why a LED light will last anywhere from 20,000 hours to 100,000 hours. It is also why a 7 watt LED fixture can generate the same amount of lumens as a 60 watt incandescent bulb. And, it has the additional benefit of being shock resistant.

      I can remember hiking with two flashlights in the 90s because of the possibility the bulb of my flashlight could burn out. Todays LED headlamps and flashlights don’t suffer from that problem.

      LEDs are also safer than fluorescent bulbs which use mercury and phosphorous to generate light. Florescent bulbs, if broken, can pollute and poison our environment.

      And if that wasn’t enough, the LED has benefited laptops and flat screen televisions.

      I could go on. The many benefits of LED lights are an improvement in our daily lives in ways we don’t even consider, not just as a cheaper and a better alternative to the use of incandescent and florescent lights.

      It is one of the areas in our lives where technology, good science, and good old fashioned capitalism get it right and made this a better and richer world to live in.

    RedEchos: Well naturally occurring CFCs are one of the many many gases belched forth by volcanoes.

    There are no natural sources for CFCs.

    {snip what follows from false premise}

      Thinker in reply to Zachriel. | October 10, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      Really, there seems to be some disagreement about that.

      http://geologist-1011.net/net/cfc/
      Sources are cited at the end.

      stablesort in reply to Zachriel. | October 10, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      “There are no natural sources for CFCs”

      “n spite of numerous erroneous academic assertions, CFCs are naturally occurring chemicals and are a significant component of active volcanism. Volcanic CFCs are emitted in the presence of compounds that raise the residence time of volcanic halogens in addition to intensifying their ozone damaging effect. This would suggest that volcanoes have had a significant impact on the ozone layer. Furthermore, when someone like Plimer appears to misquote one source, it is likely that it is the source that is misattributed and that underpinning can be found elsewhere for the assertion. It is just a matter of looking.”

      http://geologist-1011.net/net/cfc/

        stablesort: http://geologist-1011.net/net/cfc/

        That’s funny. Most of the cited studies do not show volcanoes produce CFCs. The only one that suggests otherwise is Schwandner 2004, and that shows only a negligible contribution.

          Goal Post Warp Drive engaged.

          You said “no natural sources”. You are wrong.

          SDN: You said “no natural sources”. You are wrong.

          As already pointed out, most studies show no CFCs from volcanic activity. It will take more than one tentative study to show that CFCs are emitted by volcanoes. However, we will be happy to modify our statement to

          There are no significant natural sources for CFCs. {snip what follows from RedEchos’ false premise}

          Edward in reply to Zachriel. | October 11, 2018 at 6:12 pm

          ” However, we will be happy to modify our statement to…”

          Ah, the Imperial “we”. Would you happen to be related to His Imperial Executiveness, Emperor Barak the Nonpareil, one of his voters or something else?

    I don’t think it was Dow. It was DuPont.
    With the merger of Dow and DuPont, I’m sure this gets confusing.

It should be noted that Kavanaugh did not participate in this decision at the SCOTUS. Rather, this was one of the last decisions before he joined the court.

Leslie Eastman: As one “crisis” is resolved, another must be created to replace it.

The greenhouse effect doesn’t go away because your politics pretends it doesn’t exist.

    Mudboy in reply to Zachriel. | October 10, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    You statement on greenhouse gasses is a red herring you use in an effort to deny that political shenanigans are a real thing. Climate change is not man made. It is a socialist political gambit to say so.

    Global warming = Good
    Global cooling = Bad
    – History

    stablesort in reply to Zachriel. | October 10, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    The ‘greenhouse’ effect is misnamed; the atmosphere is never trapped as it would be in a greenhouse, leaving the gas free to dissipate heat through radiation, conduction and loss into space.

    The ‘greenhouse’ effect is not significant. The socialists postulate, but have not demonstrated, a positive feedback mechanism due to the greenhouse effect that they claim is the primary source of atmospheric warming.

    Thinker in reply to Zachriel. | October 10, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Follow the money, my friend, and you will see the true cause of the “greenhouse effect”.

    Your point ?

    In IPCC AR4, it was noted that CO2 alone could generate enough greenhouse warming to be of much consequence, but there was supposed to be the creation of additional water vapor, a much stronger greenhouse gas, that could be seen as a band of warming 18km above the tropics. To date, there hasn’t been any sightings of this warming reported.

    Mudboy: You statement on greenhouse gasses is a red herring you use in an effort to deny that political shenanigans are a real thing.

    Political shenanigans are a real thing, as is the greenhouse effect.

    stablesort: The ‘greenhouse’ effect is not significant.

    Well, that’s certainly not the case. Calculate the Earth’s graybody temperature. Go ahead. We’ll wait… As you can see, without the greenhouse effect, the Earth’s average surface temperature would be a chilly ≈-18°C rather than the balmy ≈+15°C that it is.

    Neo: In IPCC AR4, it was noted that CO2 alone could {not} generate enough greenhouse warming to be of much consequence, but there was supposed to be the creation of additional water vapor, a much stronger greenhouse gas, …

    That’s been known for over a century. See Arrhenius, On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground, London, Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science 1896.

    CO2 is a greenhouse gas, warming the surface and lower atmosphere. A warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapor, which is also a greenhouse gas. The relationship is called climate sensitivity, and various measures (glacial history, volcanoes, energy budget, along with physical first principles) put it at about 2-4°C per doubling of atmospheric CO2.

    Neo: that could be seen as a band of warming 18km above the tropics.

    That is not quite correct. The tropical tropospheric hotspot would occur regardless of the source of atmospheric warming due to the moist adiabatic lapse rate.

    The data has been sparse, but more recent studies have shown the existence of the tropical tropospheric hotspot. For instance, see Sherwood Nishant, Atmospheric changes through 2012 as shown by iteratively homogenized radiosonde temperature and wind data (IUKv2), Environmental Research Letters 2015; also Mitchell et al., Revisiting the controversial issue of tropical tropospheric temperature trends, Geophysical Research Letters 2013.

    The actual signature of greenhouse warming is a warming surface and lower atmosphere, while the stratosphere cools. And that is what we observe.

      Barry in reply to Zachriel. | October 10, 2018 at 10:47 pm

      Commie Zach is an A+ Rated chicken little liar. Any “science” he points to or quotes is junk at its finest, created by those who wish to enslave you.

    And neither does the fact that your “science” is based on systematically altering the data to make your lies “true”.

      SDN: And neither does the fact that your “science” is based on systematically altering the data to make your lies “true”.

      Barry: Commie

      Z: provides multiple citations concerning fundamental physics and empirical observation.

      S: Is not!
      B: Commie!

    Voyager in reply to Zachriel. | October 11, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    If they were serious about reducing the greenhouse effect, they wouldn’t be talking about replacing CO2 with H2O. We’d be talking about nuclear power plants, fusion, and orbital solar.

      Voyager: If they were serious about reducing the greenhouse effect, they wouldn’t be talking about replacing CO2 with H2O. We’d be talking about nuclear power plants, fusion, and orbital solar.

      Who’s talking about replacing CO2 with H2O? In any case, water vapor is a greenhouse gas, but quickly precipitates out depending on temperature and other factors.

      However, if something warms the atmosphere, the atmosphere will hold more water vapor, adding to the greenhouse effect. This amplifies the warming (or cooling) that would otherwise occur, an effect called climate sensitivity. Just adding water vapor artificially to the atmosphere will not increase overall atmospheric water vapor, as it will just precipitate out.

The excitement about all this was the Antarctic “hole” in the stratospheric ozone which would, in theory, allow more UV photons to reach ground level, with consequent damage to plant and animal tissue . . . in all those plants and animals which aren’t found in the Antarctic anyway. And, since stratospheric ozone is produced by solar UV, which isn’t even there for a good chunk of the year, it’s hardly surprising that ozone at stratospheric altitudes is relatively sparse.

So . . . none of this should really be all that exciting. But the Leftoids don’t believe that, because science, or something.

The ozone hole had a lot more to do with volcanic activity than anything else.

No wonder Wheldon Shithouse hates him

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