Brief of Amici Curiae Climate Scientists in Support of Petitioners, Massachussetts V. Epa, 415 F.3d 50 (D.C. Cir. 2005) (Aug. 31, 2006)
36 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2006
Date Written: August 31, 2006
On Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in the first case on climate change to reach the high court. University of Arizona College of Law professor Kirsten Engel co-authored an amicus brief in the case on behalf of a group of world renown climate scientists together with Professors John Dernbach of Widener University School of Law, Robert B. McKinstry Jr., of Penn State University and Stephanie Tai of the University of Wisconsin School of Law. The lawsuit will decide whether the federal Clean Air Act applies to climate change and whether EPA had a nondiscretionary duty to regulate climate-warming greenhouse gases from motor vehicles. EPA refused to regulate these gases in 2003; shortly thereafter Massachusetts and other states and environmental groups brought suit against the federal environmental agency. The brief filed by Engel and others claims that EPA and the federal appeals court mischaracterized a critical government report on climate change - written by many of the scientists on the amicus brief - by making knowledge of climate science seem less certain than it really is. The brief states that, in refusing to regulate, EPA failed to apply the standard set forth in the federal Clean Air Act.
Keywords: climate change, Clean Air Act, Massachusetts v. EPA, Amicus brief, scientists, scientific certainty
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