Ten U.S. states, along with environmental groups, are suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its decision not to regulate carbon dioxide pollution as a contributor to global warming. The states are: New York, California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The states’ action is being led by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, and the focus of their concern is they want tighter pollution controls on the newest generation of power plants.
Also suing the government are the cities of Washington and New York, as well as Environmental Defense, Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club. New York and other states have fought with the Bush administration for years over carbon dioxide emissions.
In July 2005, a three-judge panel in the same court upheld the EPA’s decision not to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from cars and trucks under the Clean Air Act. The agency argues the law does not authorize it to regulate emissions to reduce global warming, and maintains there is not enough scientific data to support such a move. The new lawsuit was filed largely in response to the 2005 ruling, in the hopes that the courts will rule specifically whether the Clean Air Act can be used to fight global warming.
Environmentalists say 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States come from power plants. Carbon dioxide is believed to be the greatest single contributor to global warming.