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US Supreme Court partially upholds Obama, EPA rules on GHG permits

06.23.2014  | 

The US Supreme Court partially upheld one of President Barack Obama’s early efforts against climate change, saying the EPA had authority to impose new permitting requirements.



The US Supreme Court partially upheld one of President Barack Obama’s early efforts against climate change, saying the Environmental Protection Agency had authority to impose new permitting requirements on some power plants and factories.

The permitting rules apply when facilities are built or expanded. They are separate from the administration’s more comprehensive climate-change regulations, including the plan released June 2 to cut carbon emissions from existing plants by as much as 25% over 15 years.

The Supreme Court gave the EPA a preliminary victory in October, refusing to consider arguments that would have barred the agency from addressing climate change at all. That left states and business groups fighting the permit rules, which they said may ultimately affect millions of facilities, including bakeries and apartment complexes.

Today’s ruling, which splintered the court, may head off that possibility, limiting the rules to a few hundred facilities that already have to get permits for other pollutants. The justices said greenhouse-gas emissions by themselves can’t serve as the trigger for a permit requirement.

The permitting requirements are part of the EPA’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration program under the Clean Air Act. Under that program, facilities must install the best available technology to control emissions from new or modified major sources of air pollution.

The effect of the permitting program so far has been limited. Since 2011, 141 greenhouse-gas permits have been issued, about half for new facilities and half for the expansion of existing ones, according to the EPA.

The industries primarily affected by the requirements are power plants, chemical facilities, oil and gas projects and cement plants, according to the EPA. Companies that have applied for permits include Calpine, ExxonMobil and Occidental Petroleum.

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Max Azaria

Earl Shaffer just made the best case for a 100% solar economy!

Chuck Nolan

It seems puzzling that so much focus is on CO2, when methane is known to be over 20 times more damaging and can be captured and used to generate power, when renewables are off line, as feed stock for chemical products, and as feed stock for fertilizer.

Climate change is real, but proposed solutions are tragically impractical, but intended to polarize voters, rather than result in real improvements.

Federal regulations should prevent any interference with projects to capture methane from oil wells and agricultural sources. Incentives should be offered to reduce the cost of capturing methane.

Wind farms should be built where ever the wind and investors are willing to build, with any interference by idiots claiming visual pollution discarded with great public ridicule.

The CO2 emphasis seems more like token environmentalism, where reductions in methane provide greater improvements and may be cost effective as well, but CO2 has been turned into a political issue to frighten ignorant voters into supporting the growth of government bureaucracies.

Kaliyamoorthy Samiayya

Business concerns are most important. But, consideration to GHG Emissions & reduction in Global warming plays a top role today. Changing scenario, all over-the -world indicate this. No where the climate is like it was a decade ago. We need to focus on this & work hard towards bringing back the Climate we had a decade ago. May this be a bitter pill to few but we need to adjust to it.

Scott Rowe

Mr. Shaffer,

I don't have your "five technical degrees," only three. I don't pretend to know much about this topic. However, you seem to have missed the mechanistic view. Indeed an astronomical amount of light impinges on earth. This is exactly why atmospheric composition, and the atmosphere's ability to absorb light, is so important. It suggests that mild methane and carbon dioxide emissions could have a compounding affect on temperature. Your scaling analysis is fine, but seemingly superficial.

Earl Shaffer

I feel that the Supreme Court has heard about the science that I put together proves the fraudulent claims are absolutely wrong... The Thermodynamic Energies prove that our Sun is absolutely in control of the heating and cooling of our planet. We need to quit cutting our green weeds and grasses that creates heat instead of growing our plant life..... It is this simple, The Sun is going to grow plant life or be converted into heat energy.....

Earl Shaffer

It is a true shame how the fraudulent claims got started on this issue. CO2 is an absolute trivial part of our Atmospheric Energy system.... I will send to anyone who wants the truth the actual numbers....

Earl Shaffer

Jimmy Kumana needs to know true science versus Fraudulent emotions.....

Earl Shaffer

This is proof that the Sun is absolutely in control of the heating and cooling of Planet Earth. The lies and fraudulent claims that have been made were leading to a World Socio-economic disaster. These actual numbers are basic Physics and applied Thermodynamics. This does not even consider that CO2 is a fraction of crude when consumed.

Consumed Crude Fuel Energy per Day = 87,000,000 Barrel/Day X 5,800,000 Btu/Barrel X 1055Joule/Btu = 5.32 X 1017 Joule/Day

Sun Energy/ Day = 1.279 X 1014m2 X 1400watts/m2 X 60sec/ min X 60min/hr X 24hr/day
= 1.547 X 1022 Joule/day

Divide 1.547 X 1022 / 5.32 X 1017 = 29,078.9 as the ratio of the Suns Energy to the consumed daily crude World Wide.

Earl Shaffer


Consider the following facts that are true. These are reasonably real numbers, but may vary slightly. I have five technical science degrees inclusive of a B.S. in Mathematics, Electrical Engineering, and a M.S. in Physics. So, I know what I am stating to be absolutely good science. This science shows Al Gore is a fraud. This also proves very important points.

1. The Area of Lake Michigan is 57.757 X 109 m2 .
2. The suns energy gives the amount of power received on earth as 1.4 X 103 Watts/ m2 (per square meter). One Watt (power) = Joule/s of energy rate.
3. There are 300,000,000 Americans as our population. This is 3 X 108.
4. There is produced one million watts of electricity per 1000 people.
5. The above items 3 and 4 gives 300,000 Mw as the Total American power consumption rate of electricity.
6. Item 1 above times item 2 gives 80.86 X 1012 Watts received on the Area the size of Lake Michigan. This is 80.86 X 106 Mw.
7. Then you divide Item 6 by item 5 gives the ratio as 270.

The ratio of 270 shows just how overwhelming the Suns energy/power received on Earth is to the energy/power we consume. This shows just how much energy is received by such a relatively very small area on Earth from our Sun. An area the size of Lake Michigan receives enough energy to supply our electricity for 270 days in just one day. This shows the potential for the Suns energy conversion that needs to be developed. Lake Michigan is a very small area of Earth! The surface ratio portion of Earth for Lake Michigan is 0.000113. The Earth receives 1.79 X 1017 Watts of continuous radiation from the Sun. In just fifty-six (56) seconds the Sun provides an Energy equal to the total Electrical Energy Americans use in an entire year (1019 Joules). No sources of energy consumed by man come close to the quantity of natural power by the Sun. These numbers prove the Suns energy received on Earth does absolutely dominate. The Suns energy does absolutely control the heating and cooling on Earth. We Americans radiate almost 100 Watts/ person. This gives our heating of environment power to be approximately 3 X 1010 Watts/s in America. A surface area the size of 1720 square feet will receive a Sun power of 300 horsepower, an automobile equivalent. Global Warming as presently claimed is absolutely a fraud. The Al Gores are a fraud. This is real quantified science, and the truth nobody so far has so completely stated. THE SUN! The earths gases absorb a trivial energy compared to the solid/wet surfaces.
Please, Contact me!
Respectfully submitted,
Earl David Shaffer email: supperguytwo@hotmail.com

Oklahoma City, OK Phone 405-201-2446


This ruling is absolutely outrageous. The Supreme court appears to completely disregard any thing that is not specifically written into legislation. Congress is not supposed to be a rule-making body. Congress simply passes laws that explain the policy goals, and then leaves to the Agencies to make rules to achieve those objectives, consistent with the intent of the law, presumably passed for the public good rather than as a favor to narrow special interests.. In this case, the intent of the law is to protect the environment, and high GHG concentrations in the air are now known to be the major cause of global warming, which is a threat to civilization as we know it. Are the right-wing pawns on the supreme court willing to be recorded in history as mass murderers? Because that is what they have become.

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