Lindzen, Happer & CO2 Coalition file amicus brief in 5th Circuit Court

RELEASE: Immediate                                                                                                June 22, 2022

CO2 Coalition Tells Court Carbon Regulation “Scientifically Invalid”

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ARLINGTON, Va. — President Biden’s Social Cost of Carbon rule is “scientifically invalid and will be disastrous for the poor people worldwide, future generations and the United States,” according to a court brief by two physics professors at Princeton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the CO2 Coalition.

Filed today with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the amicus curie brief said, “There is overwhelming scientific evidence that fossil fuels and CO2 provide enormous social benefits.” It asked that the rule be enjoined from further use pending outcome of a hearing by a trial court.

The lawsuit before the appeals court — the State of Louisiana versus Biden — seeks to stop the use of “temporary rules” that are implemented by presidential order. The Biden administration’s SCC rule directs regulators to include the purported projected “global cost” of every ton of carbon dioxide emissions from a wide array of projects where federal funding or approvals are needed, from transportation, to housing, to energy and infrastructure.

The academicians named in the brief are Dr. William Happer, chairman of the CO2 Coalition and professor emeritus of Princeton University’s Department of Physics; and Dr. Richard S. Lindzen, professor emeritus in the MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences and a CO2 Coalition member and past chairman.

The brief says that a district court’s preliminary injunction should be reinstated because the technical document supporting the SCC and President Biden’s executive order imposing the regulation “are scientifically invalid and will be disastrous for the poor people worldwide, future generations and the United States.”

“Reliable scientific theories come from validating theoretical predictions with observations, not consensus, government opinion, peer review or manipulated data,” says the brief. The brief says the U.S. Supreme Court has adopted essentially the CO2 Coalition’s view of what constitutes valid science.

However, the brief notes, predictions supporting an SCC — particularly climate forecasts generated by computer models — have regularly failed the test of real-world observation. Meanwhile, the brief says, supporters promote an SCC on the basis of claims of a consensus, the favoring of governmental opinion over scientific challenge, endorsements by peers, the manipulation of some data and the omission of other information.

A glaring omission in the administration’s proposed regulation are the benefits of carbon dioxide and of the fossil fuels whose burning in the generation of electricity and industrial processes emit the gas.

“There is overwhelming scientific evidence that fossil fuels and CO2 provide enormous social benefits for the poor, people worldwide, future generations and the United States, and therefore it would be disastrous to reduce or eliminate them,” the brief says.

The brief notes that warmth and moderately higher carbon dioxide levels in recent decades have correlated with an overall greening of Earth and record crop harvests. The document shows that per capita gross domestic product has increased over the last 2,000 years from a few dollars to approximately $7,000, closely tracking the increased use of coal, oil and natural gas in recent centuries.

The brief says that the president’s order violates a congressional directive requiring that benefits as well as costs be included in environmental considerations and that it exceeds the president’s authority by unilaterally creating new law.

The CO2 Coalition, based in Arlington, Va., is an organization of approximately 95 scientists and researchers engaged in educating thought leaders, policy makers, and the public about the important contribution made by carbon dioxide to people’s lives and the economy.




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