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“.
Yesterday, New York took an important step towards phasing out hydrofluorocarbons, a super-pollutant found in refrigeration and air conditioners – and one of the high-impact strategies that will help us achieve #AmericasPledge. https://t.co/jN4L0nmM6c
— America’s Pledge (@AmericasPledge) September 11, 2018
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.