Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Getting it Right

From time to time, the courts get it right. Actually, they do so more often than not, but we usually point out only the missteps.

In the case of Citizens for Environmental Inquiry v Department of Environmental Quality, several Michigan citizens and the CEI sued Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality, claiming that the DEQ was required to issue rules regulating carbon dioxide emissions. The plaintiffs alleged that unregulated CO2 emissions cause "global warming and/or climate change" and impose upon "all the people of Michigan a severity of injury that is indivisible and at once a substantial concrete injury personal to every citizen."

The trial court tossed the case out, and the Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal on February 9, finding that the DEQ had not done anything wrong, and the plaintiffs had no standing to pursue their claims. Appellate judges Cavanagh, Fitzgerald, and Shapiro got this one right, as did Judge William Collette of the Ingham County Circuit Court.

Ironically, this dismissal happens just as any semblance of a case for anthropogenic global warming seems to be completely unraveling. See here, here, and here.

According to its website, CEI is an organization committed to killing coal-fired and nuclear power plants in Michigan. (Okay, "killing" is my word, not CEI's.) Governor Tinkerbell has done this -- congratulations! After all, why would we want to explore all potential sources of energy? That new "green" economy is working out so well for us here in the Enchanted Mitten -- over 15% unemployment, a real unemployment rate closer to 25%, no prospects for recovery, and a governor who thinks the way to make things better is to -- wait for it -- raise taxes!

Sorry about that last paragraph. This started as a nice positive post about a court making the right decision, so let's end it that way. Good job, Judge Collette! Good job, Judges Cavanagh, Fitzgerald, and Shapiro! Keep up the good work!

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