The ChE in Context: Member Voices Shaping AIChE’s Climate Change Policy


Last year, AIChE’s Board of Directors asked the Public Affairs and Information Committee (PAIC) to engage AIChE members in a Climate Change Policy Review, in response to stakeholders’ requests that AIChE revise its 2014 Climate Change Policy Statement ( to address climate change science.

In 2014, the U.S. had advanced climate change regulation based on the authority of the U.S. Clean Air Act (CAA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) statutory scope of administrative discretion, and the 2007 Supreme Court case, Massachusetts v. EPA. EPA’s “Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings” of 2009 (the “Endangerment Findings”) provided a legal foundation for EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs). The 2016 U.S. election and the new Administration’s reversals of environmental policy stirred member requests to re-examine our policy.

In 2017, PAIC’s Climate Change Task Force solicited members’ input through a series of posts on the ChEnected blog, followed by discussions on AIChE Engage ( Members were asked to critique the “consensus science” underlying the EPA’s Endangerment Findings.

The first ChEnected post, “General Approaches” (Aug. 2017), sought input regarding the...

Author Bios: 

Mary Ellen Ternes

Mary Ellen Ternes is a partner in the Oklahoma City office of D.C. based Earth & Water Law, LLC.  Ms. Ternes represents energy, manufacturing and other industrial and municipal clients, with in-depth experience in air, hazardous waste, wastewater, drinking water program permitting, compliance, with particular emphasis in developing efficient regulatory strategies for complex and high profile processes and industries, enforcement defense, risk management, due diligence, voluntary cleanup practices as well as federal and state rulemaking, administrative proceedings and litigation....Read more

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