Court Docs Suggest Repeat of Obama/Copenhagen, Biden EPA Plans to Spring Unprecedented “Back Door” Climate Rule, One Obama’s EPA Chief Called “Not Advisable”, in Glasgow

From Government Accountability & Oversight

Hell Hath Frozen Over: Court Docs Suggest Repeat of Obama/Copenhagen, Biden EPA Plans to Spring Unprecedented “Back Door” Climate Rule, One Obama’s EPA Chief Called “Not Advisable”, in Glasgow

The Biden Administration appears set to subtly affirm in October a “‘Back Door’ Climate Plan” — or the specifics of how it intends to “decarbonize the U.S. economy” in the next decade — if hiding it in a secondary “ozone NAAQS” which the administration will days later unveil, in its pursuit of praise from the global environmental establishment, at a November “climate” conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

Emails with activists and obtained from state attorneys general confirm this end-run, repeating the theatrical trappings of the Obama EPA’s first-year radicalization of the Agency, is employed because the required legislation is simply not feasible and to avoid the political and likely legal suicide of trying to openly and directly regulate greenhouse gases (GHGs) as “criteria pollutants” (i.e., setting a “primary NAAQS” for carbon dioxide or ‘GHG equivalent’).

That the breathtaking move is in fact on its way was hinted at in a court filing by EPA in the DC Circuit on Thursday. A letter sent the same day to the White House by Congressional Republicans helps make the connection between this plan and the upcoming climate conference. A review of the history of the Obama-Biden EPA and White House makes the connection, and cynical orchestration to obtain international approval, irresistible.

Obama’s EPA orchestrated its radical revamping of EPA and global warming agenda to coincide with its arrival at a “climate” conference in Copenhagen

.

Think Green New Deal and “Net Zero.” Actually, Net Less-Than-Zero, without ever being granted permission to “decarbonize” the economy by Congress. The radical move, rejected even by the Obama EPA and dismissed by green activists at the time (“hell will freeze over before there’s a NAAQS for CO2”), suddenly transforms the Clean Air Act into the economic policy weapon the environmental left has long sought.

This development also appears to lie behind the mystery promise the Biden White House made to the world and is set to at long last add some detail to at the annual Conference of the Parties to the series of climate treaties including Kyoto Protocol and Paris agreement, being held this year in Glasgow“COP26” beginning on November 1. Republican Senators have been demanding detail for the radical vow of a 50-plus percent reduction in GHGs by 2030, a demand they repeated in a new letter to the White House, sent on Thursday.

Also by chance on Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency filed a Motion For Abeyance And Extension To Motion To Govern Deadline in the DC Circuit, seeking yet another extension of time to tell the court what it intends to do about State of New York et al. v. EPA. That challenge by a handful of progressive governors and NYC is the apparent sue-and-settle attempt that was the subject of the WS Journal’s March 18 editorial, “Biden’s ‘Back Door’ Climate Plan”.

That editorial summarized an amicus brief filed on behalf of Energy Policy Advocates in the same matter explaining how the AGs, Obama EPA alums and, most critically, now-Biden EPA Air chief Joe Goffman — called “’EPA’s Law Whisperer’ because ‘his specialty is teaching old laws to do new tricks’”— planned this before Goffman went in-house:

President Biden wants Congress to pass climate legislation, but that faces political obstacles. No worries—state Democratic Attorneys General are conspiring with green groups on a regulatory Plan B. … Consultants referred by Mr. Goffman told the AGs that regulating CO2 as a criteria pollutant wouldn’t fly. But they proposed using ozone NAAQS as what one called a “backdoor.” Fossil fuel combustion, motor vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions contribute to ozone. So the EPA could make states reduce CO2 emissions by tightening ozone standards. States might have to outlaw natural gas-powered appliances, gas stations and internal combustion engines to meet stricter ozone standards.…To sum up, Democratic AGs, green groups and a top Biden environmental regulator are colluding on a plan to impose the Green New Deal on states through a back regulatory door because they know they can’t pass it through the front in Congress.

That brief led to the following. First, the story about the amicus brief:

Then EPA showed a little ankle and:

Then, after a couple other moves, the jig looked like it might be up, and the amicus brief was right.

The Biden White House and EPA have been kicking the day down the road when it has to say in NY v. EPA whether it is going to reconsider the Trump EPA’s decision to leave the ozone NAAQS unchanged, or do what the AGs want — again, on which they consulted with Mr. Goffman before he came in-house to oversee the office in charge. Incidentally, Goffman’s ethics records obtained by Energy Policy Advocates show no indication he disclosed this during the ethics process. Had he even provided, as public records suggest did, pro bono consultation to the AGs on this particular matter, not only should it have been disclosed but he should be recused from any involvement in, e.g., EPA’s resolution of this issue. There are no indications he has recused, either.

As Energy Policy Advocates informed the Court this Spring, when revealing what was going on here:

When Petitioner Attorneys General and the Respondent’s official presently responsible for the NAAQS programs, including the Rule at issue, Joe Goffman, first consulted about how to force greenhouse gas regulations through the CAA’s NAAQS program in late 2019, the AGs were exploring regulating CO2 as a criteria pollutant, thereby triggering a CO2 or GHG-equivalent NAAQS. That proposition has long been understood to carry considerable risk. [FN3: A climate NAAQS, whether or not obscured within a “secondary ozone NAAQS”, would require massive central regulation of nearly all aspects of economic life, essentially a perpetual “Lockdown Economy”, requiring truly massive reductions in energy use emissions.] President Obama’s first EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, rejected a climate NAAQS as not “advisable.” One prominent environmentalist group attorney, also seeking to quell controversy over the prospect early in the Obama administration, said “hell will freeze over before there’s a NAAQS for CO2.”

EPA’s delays have come on the 9th of most months since the AGs filed suit the day before Inauguration Day, ensuring only the Biden EPA could answer the lawsuit (Hey Siri, what’s “sue and settle”?). The Agency’s most recent filing was to counter the five AGs (TX, MS, AR, MO, LA) who filed, also Thursday, asking the court to say enough is enough and order EPA to explain what it’s up to already.

Those AGs had already told the court, when seeking to intervene, that signs were this delay over responding to a friendly suit over an ozone rule actually had something to do with the Biden climate agenda, and that EPA could not be trusted to defend its own rule. In so connecting the suit to a desired and radical settlement toward turning ozone regulation into a new and never authorized “climate regulatory regime, the AGs’ brief slaps down any dismissive talking point that “well the Biden EPA would have reviewed this rule anyway” and suggests, if less expressly than Energy Policy Advocates’ amicus brief, that there was a sue-n-settle brewing here.

In response, EPA at long last said on Thursday, gee we just need until…October 29.

Friday, October 29 struck us as odd. But a quick check confirmed that the Paris-agreement-“COP26” in Glasgow, begins Monday, November 1. Ah.

As the Republican lawmakers wrote in their letter (emphases added).

We write to reiterate our requests that your Administration disclose the details, analyses, and calculations used or generated to support the nationally determined contribution (NDC) target as part of the pledge to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. 1 In a document submitted to the United Nations under the Paris Agreement, the Administration stated that it had “conducted a detailed analysis to underpin this 2030 target, reviewing a range of pathways for each sector of the economy that produces CO2 and non-CO2 greenhouse gases: electricity, transportation, buildings, industry, and the land sector.”2…The 1ack of accountability and transparency to date is even more concerning as the NDC target and regulatory actions to meet this target will be the focus at the upcoming 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow.

Those old enough to remember the first year of the Obama administration will have spotted the play, or rather the re-play, here.

Knowing this “The timing is coincidence” crowd’s history of stagecraft on these matters — most particularly, timing the Endangerment Finding so Lisa Jackson could land in Copenhagen (COP15) as a conquering hero, waving a paper ensuring Greenpeace in Our Time, we at GAO submit that history is repeating itself here. The Biden EPA not only seeks to hide its “not advisable”, and likely tainted-by-conflict “Climate NAAQS” in a “secondary ozone NAAQS” standard, and obscure the machinations domestically within the ritual orgiastic coverage of the annual “COP”… while enthralling the one audience this orchestration is intended to titillate, the COP attendees.

Expect EPA to tell the DC Circuit on October 29 that it has decided to revisit the Trump ozone standard, and the Biden team to reveal at one level of detail or another in Glasgow a few days later that an Ozone NAAQS is the principal regulatory vehicle to obtain the massive promise of economic self-harm never authorized by Congress, to meet promises made in a treaty never sent to or approved by the Senate, and to appease parties who do not have the U.S.’s interests at heart.

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September 16, 2021 at 12:30PM

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