EPA to Virginia: What Climate Conspiracy?

A group of critics of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) decision to regulate greenhouse gases as a public health hazard were rebuffed today in an administrative move by the agency. From the EPA press release:

The petitions to reconsider EPA's "Endangerment Finding" claimed that climate science can't be trusted, and asserted a conspiracy that calls into question the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the U.S. Global Change Research Program. After months of serious consideration of the petitions and of the state of climate change science, EPA found no evidence to support these claims.

The petitioners included the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said that EPA's decision was "fatally flawed procedurally because the agency has reviewed and weighed new information without notice or comment from the public." Cuccinelli is investigating former Pennsylvania State University scientist Michael Mann for possible impropriety after the "Climategate" e-mails were released last year; Mann has been exonerated by that school.

"The next step will be to appeal to the courts on what the agency has decided," said Sheldon Gilbert, a spokesperson for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, another petitioner. The chamber is involved in a separate legal case in which it already asked a federal court to review the EPA move.