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EPA sued (again) by 18 states over greenhouse gas emission standards



Eighteen states, two cities and ten environmental groups filed suit Wednesday against the EPA's refusal to issue a decision on emissions regulation. The filing asks the federal court to compel the EPA to act within 60 days, at which time, further action may be taken.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Eighteen states sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday for failing to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and trucks, one year after the Supreme Court ruled that the agency had the power to do so.

The suit seeks EPA's response to the high court's April 2, 2007, ruling, a landmark decision seen as a sharp defeat for the Bush administration's policy on climate change.

This is another in a string of lawsuits that have been filed by various states to attempt to compel the EPA to take a position on greenhouse gas emissions, after the EPA's refusal to do so prevented California (and the other states that would use California's regulation as a standard) from lowering their own limit in a state regulation.

The plaintiffs include: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, the District of Columbia, the city of New York, the city of Baltimore, the Sierra Club and nine other environmental groups.


The EPA has also received a subpoena from Congress to turn over their correspondence and other paperwork after reports came to light that
President Bush had personally intervened on the decision to lower a key greenhouse gas regulation. The head of the EPA, Stephen Johnson, has been accused of foot dragging by members of Congress, as well:
Johnson said he has decided to begin the process by seeking public comment on the implications of regulating carbon dioxide on other agency rules that cover everything from power plants and factories to schools and small businesses.

That process could take months and led some of his critics to suggest he was shunting the sensitive issue to the next administration.

"This is the latest quack from a lame-duck EPA intent on running out the clock ... without doing a thing to combat global warming," said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

"Time is not on our side when it comes to avoiding dangerous climate change. This letter makes it clear that Mr. Johnson and the Bush administration are not on our side, either," Boxer, D-Calif., said in a statement.

The House's subpoena requests the EPA turn over all their paperwork and correspondence that led to Johnson's decision. The EPA has declined to state whether they intend to comply, responding instead that they will review the documents and decide.


Previous reporting on this issue:

President Bush Intervenes on EPA Smog Ruling
E.P.A. Denies California's Emissions Waiver
EPA sued over Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Vermont Legal Victory over Auto Pollution



LABELS: BARBARA BOXER, CLIMATE CHANGE, EDWARD MARKEY, EPA, ENVIRONMENT, GEORGE W. BUSH, GLOBAL WARMING, STEPHEN JOHNSON

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