It appears that initial reports about the EPA memo this morning missed a key passage. The internal memo, marked “Attorney Client Privilege”, did warn about the negative impact EPA regulation of CO2 would have on the economy. But The Hill reports that it also challenged the notion that the EPA or anyone else had proven CO2 or other greenhouse gases to be harmful to humans:
An EPA finding last month that greenhouse gases are a danger to public health rests on dubious assumptions and could have negative economic impacts, a memo from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) warned.
The memo has no listed author but is marked “Deliberative–Attorney Client Privilege.” A spokesman for OMB told Dow Jones Newswires that the brief is a “conglomeration of counsel we’ve received from various agencies” about the EPA finding, the conclusions of which would trigger regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
The author(s) of the memo suggest the EPA did not thoroughly examine the relationship between greenhouse gases and human health.
“In the absence of a strong statement of the standards being applied in this decision, there is concern that EPA is making a finding based on…’harm’ from substances that have no demonstrated direct health effects,” the memo says, adding that the “scientific data that purports to conclusively establish” that link was from outside EPA.
The memo then borders on secular heresy by suggesting that if warming was indeed the result of man’s activity, it may have beneficial effects rather than being a net negative:
Finally, in language sure to anger climate change activists, the memo questions whether climate change might bring benefits that would mitigate the costs.
“To the extent that climate change alters out environment, it will create incentives for innovation and adaption that mitigate the damages,” the memo reads. “The [EPA finding] should note this possibility[.] … It might be reasonable to conclude that Alaska will benefit from warmer winters for both health and economic reasons,” the authors note.
Senator John Barasso calls the memo a “smoking gun”, and notes the memo insists that the EPA has shown no deleterious effects from the gases Lisa Jackson wants regulated:
Will this kneecap the Obama administration’s efforts to get Congress to impose a cap-and-trade system? Republicans and Rust Belt Democrats will jump to embrace an EPA report that casts doubt on global warming science. The question will be whether the national media stays on this story and reports it fully.