Skeptical Science on steroids: the EPA response to 300,000 public comments

Guest post by John Cross

I suspect that it was lost among all the excitement of the hacked CRU e-mails, but on December 7, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a statement (2.4Mb PDF) saying that it had found that “the current and projected concentrations of the six key well-mixed greenhouse gases--carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)--in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.” While important, this is essentially an administrative procedure - a response to a Supreme Court ruling.

However what is interesting is that last year the EPA requested public comments as part of this process. And did they ever get some - over 300,000 of them. Now a lot were comments saying “well done”, however there were a significant number of comments raising issues about the science to which the EPA was required to respond. Just recently the EPA released its analysis of and response to the questions. The response consists of 11 volumes totalling over 700 pages of detailed discussion of the questions. The document makes for very interesting and informative reading and I would encourage all to have a look. By the way, the original comments / questions are available if you are willing to look hard enough. If I find anything interesting in there, I will post it in the comments.

Posted by John Cross on Friday, 9 April, 2010

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