Federal court: No CO2 regulation under the Endangered Species Act

A federal judge today ruled against an effort by environmentalists to force the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service regulate greenhouse gases under the Endangered Species Act.

Disturbingly, it’s not that the Court didn’t want to accomodate the enviros — it did — but that darned thing called the law got it the way:

Although the Court is sensitive to plaintiffs’ arguments for a strong mechanism to combat the effects of global climate change, the Court finds that the agency’s conclusion was not arbitrary, capricious, or contrary to law. The Court is therefore prohibited from substituting either the plaintiffs’ or its own judgment for that of the agency.

At least the Court was more sensitive to the law than to the enviros — this time.

Click here for the opinion.

3 thoughts on “Federal court: No CO2 regulation under the Endangered Species Act”

  1. This decision is another reminder that the phrase “best available science” is a dangerous term. The polar bear listing was based upon research that engaged in gross speculation and perhaps scientific fraud. It was not only best available , but the only available research. So to with numerous ESA listings including the snail darter, northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet, delta smelt to name a few.

    It is easy to forget that unscrupulous scientists looking for grant money identify some obscure species and file a listing petition where there is little on nothing known about the critter or plant. Then too, as in the case of the polar bear, it was selected as proxy to stop exploratory drilling throughout Alaska and the Arctic ocean.

    The same phase appears in the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts too. Repeal of the ESA is unlikely, but it could defanged by removal of the “best available . . .” phrase and the addition of a clear mandates to perform a real cost/benefit and risk analyses that are to be given equal weight with scientific considerations and to indicate whenever relevant issues that are scientifically uncertain.

  2. USFWS gave $1.4 million taxpayer money to the City of San Antonio and Bexar County to develop a habitat conservation plan, EIS and an incidental take permit for developers to comply with the ESA covering the Golden Cheeked Warbler, Black Capped Vireo and 7 species of cave invertebrates. It was all done for a 5 county area and the project stakeholders still don’t understand “NO” after holding public scoping meetings in each county. The plan is based on satellite photography color signatures of what they think are habitats. No field truthing has been performed. The draft HCP is a joke and typical of what we have come to expect of the bureaucrats.

    USFWS admitted they never did their job enforcing the ESA for previous development in Bexar County.

  3. It reads like the judge is covering his derriere so he doesn’t get accused of being in the pocket of big oil. I wouldn’t read too much into any specific phrase he says as he did follow the rule of law.

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