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 user 2008-04-03 at 2:41:32 pm Views: 89
  • #19639

    States Sue EPA Over Global Warming
    (April 08) – Officials of 18 states are taking the EPA back to court to
    try to force it to comply with a Supreme Court ruling that rebuked the
    Bush administration for inaction on global warming.A record amount of
    Greenland’s ice sheet melted this summer — 19 billion tons more than
    the previous high mark. And for the first time on record, the Northwest
    Passage was open to navigation.In a petition filed Wednesday, the
    plaintiffs said last April’s 5-4 ruling required the Environmental
    Protection Agency to decide whether to regulate greenhouse gas
    emissions, including carbon dioxide, from motor vehicles.

    The EPA has instead done nothing, they said.
    EPA’s failure to act in the face of these incontestable dangers is a
    shameful dereliction of duty,” said Massachusetts Attorney General
    Martha Coakley, one of 17 state attorneys general involved Wednesday’s
    court action. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
    is also involved.

    The petition asks the U.S. Court of Appeals
    for the District of Columbia Circuit to require the EPA to act within
    60 days.In last year’s decision, the Supreme Court ruled the EPA has
    the authority to regulate emissions from new cars and trucks under the
    Clean Air Act, and said the reasons the EPA gave for declining to do so
    were insufficient.EPA spokesman Jonathan Shradar said the Supreme Court
    required the agency to evaluate how it would regulate greenhouse gas
    emissions from cars and other vehicles but set no deadline.The EPA
    plans to include the evaluation in a formal rule-making the agency
    announced last week, which will look at how to best regulate all
    greenhouse gas emissions, not just those from vehicles, he said.
    Otherwise, a mash of laws and regulations could emerge rather than the
    “holistic” approach the administration favors.”We want to set a good
    foundation to build a strong climate policy of potential regulation and
    laws we can work toward and actually see some success,” Shradar said.

    Brookbinder of the Sierra Club, one of 11 environmental groups in the
    suit, said the EPA has been talking about a “holistic” approach to
    climate change for years. “In fact, they have done absolutely nothing
    except stand in the way of everybody’s else’s efforts,” he said.Last
    week’s EPA announcement of the formal rule-making procedure signaled it
    wanted to put greenhouse gas regulation “on indefinite hold,” which
    isn’t acceptable, said Jim Milkey, chief of environmental protection at
    the Coakley’s office, who argued the case before the Supreme
    Court.”Every day that goes by without a solution, the window of
    opportunity to fix the problem closes a bit more,” he said.

    plaintiffs contend the EPA has already completed the work needed to
    start regulating carbon dioxide.”On this issue, the U.S. EPA has failed
    to lead, it has failed to follow the states’ lead and we are prepared
    to force it out of the way in order to protect the environment,” said
    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.The Supreme Court ruling requires
    the EPA to regulate CO2 if it determines it’s a danger to public health
    and welfare. Senior EPA employees have told House investigators about a
    tentative finding from early December that CO2 posed a danger because
    of its climate impact.They also said a draft regulation had been
    circulated internally, then abandoned. EPA administrator Stephen
    Johnson has said the issue had to be re-examined because of tougher
    automobile mileage requirements enacted in December.The plaintiffs in
    the petition want the finding about the dangers of CO2 released within
    60 days, so the process for regulating vehicle emissions can begin.
    They said any final rules wouldn’t be ready until the next
    administration.In a related development Wednesday, the House Select
    Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming voted 12-0
    Wednesday to issue a subpoena for all the draft EPA documents on the
    issue.”EPA has made no effort to accommodate the committee’s request,”
    said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., the committee’s chairman.Shrader
    declined to say whether the agency would produce the documents the
    subpoena will request. “We will review this new petition and respond
    appropriately,” he said.