Writing up yesterday’s House Select Committee for energy Independence and Global Warming hearing, Washington Post columnist Al Kamen takes EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson to task for referring to Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in his testimony instead of Justice Paul Stevens majority opinion. Kamen seems to think this proves Johnson is ignorant of the law, but a quick look at Kamen’s reporting and the actual wording in the majority opinion exposes who the real ignoramus is.
Kamen asserts that the decision in Massachusetts v. EPA “required [Johnson] to come up with ways to regulate greenhouse gases.” Really? Then maybe Kamen can explain these lines from the conclusion of Stevens’ opinion:
We need not and do not reach the question whether on remand EPA must make an endangerment finding, or whether policy concerns can inform EPA’s actions in the event that it makes such a finding. We hold only that EPA must ground its reasons for action or inaction in the statute.
So all the majority opinion actually required the EPA to do is better explain why, or why not, CO2 qualifies for an endangerment finding under the Clean Air Act. Only in Kamen’s mind did the opinion mandate regulation of greenhouse gases. At least now we know who is the one that needs to pay “careful attention to the Supreme Court decision.”