Report: Lawyer in CA Emissions Case to Join EPA

January 26, 2009 8:13 am

As rational individuals everywhere cheer today’s White House move to expedite California’s auto emissions standards, there comes another encouraging sign from inside the Environmental Protection Agency.

As reported late Friday night by Carbon Control News, a subscription-only website that reports on D.C. climate change issues:

Georgetown Law Professor Lisa Heinzerling, the lead author of plaintiffs’ briefs in the landmark Supreme Court case that found EPA has the authority to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, has taken a job with EPA to advise incoming Administrator Lisa Jackson on how to address climate change, according to a knowledgeable source. …

In a Jan. 23 memo to all EPA employees, incoming EPA administrator Jackson listed climate change as the first of five priorities for the agency, and said “we will move ahead to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision recognizing EPA’s obligation to address climate change under the Clean Air Act.” Jackson also stated that EPA “will stand ready to help Congress craft strong, science-based climate legislation that fulfills the vision of the President.” …

In the Supreme Court case, Heinzerling was the lead author of arguments from a coalition of environmentalists and states claiming EPA had a legal obligation to address greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. The court agreed, and EPA has been struggling for the past several years on how to fulfill that obligation. Heinzerling’s presence at EPA could help the agency craft climate change policies and potential regulations that conform with the high court ruling and can withstand future legal challenges.

Jackson’s memo on priorities, linked to above, is also worth a read. The grown-ups are indeed back in charge.

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