Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) fetishist are in crisis. Hard scientific evidence is mounting that their exalted theory should go the way of the dodo. The "scientists" in the community continue to refuse to release data so that it can be verified and attack skeptics. AGW theory is getting such a black eye that it’s adherents are refusing to debate the facts in public. Opinion has started to change, especially in the aftermath of climategate. Taken together, this volatile mix of facts ensures that cap and trade legislation is dead.
Since cap and trade is the culmination of the AGW cultists theory, it’s death is being mourned and the hope is that the EPA will impose the economy killing rules. Obama’s plummeting poll numbers combined with falling employment make that unlikely in the near term. Since the legislative option is off the table, and the administration unwilling to impose such a disastrous policy by fiat, the only hope for cap and trade is the courts..
The attorney general of Connecticut filed suit against power companies for their carbon dioxide emissions in 2004. Joined with Connecticut in this lawsuit are the states of New York, California, Iowa, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, and municipality of New York City. The intent of the suit is to hold the named power companies "jointly and severally liable for contributing to an ongoing public nuisance, global warming". The companies in question are responsible for a mere 2.5% of the global man made carbon dioxide emissions. Investor’s business daily has a good piece on the lawsuits titled “Climate Change Lawsuits Heat Up, Led By An End Run In Connecticut“
The attempt to bypass the Congress as well as the people is a classic case of the abuse of power that our founding fathers were trying to prevent when they were designing the republic. The courts were never designed or intended to institute policy, but in this case we see fishing attorney generals with their bait cutting trial lawyers attempting to do just that. If they succeed it will provide a new gold rush for attorneys, just like judgments against Dow and silicone breast implants were a gold rush for attorneys in the early nineties. Unlike the silicon breast implants fiasco, every person that uses energy will pay the price, not just silicone manufacturer stock holders**.
This is why the electoral contests that are ignored by a lot of voters are so important. The attorney generals in Connecticut, New York, Vermont, Rhode Island, California, Iowa, Wisconsin are all on the ballot this year. Tea Party protesters should get involved in these contests. After all, the attorney generals in those states are fighting to have a defacto tax imposed by the judicial system on all Americans based on an inconclusive theory.
[Update] There is an excellent commentary on the Obama administration’s stance on the tort tactic from 8/30/2010 by Marlo Lewis over at Pajamas Media