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18 States Sue EPA For Failing To Act On Greenhouse Gases

carpollution2.jpgEighteen states are suing the EPA in an attempt to force it to comply with a Supreme Court ruling in April that found the EPA has authority to regulate vehicle emissions, AP reports.

The plaintiffs say that the ruling requires the EPA to decide whether to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA disagrees.

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 court stopped short of saying that the EPA must actually limit vehicle emissions, but it said “the EPA can avoid taking further action only if it determines that greenhouse gases do not contribute to climate change or if it provides some reasonable explanation as to why it cannot or will not exercise its discretion to determine whether they do.”

Last week, AP reported that the EPA said it would not rush any decision on the ruling by the Supreme Court. Such action “could affect many (emission) sources beyond just cars and trucks” and needs to be examined broadly as to other impacts, Stephen Johnson, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency wrote lawmakers.

At the time of last year’s decision, even Republicans said the landmark decision meant new auto emissions rules were almost certain.

Major U.S. automakers and industry trade associations spent $62.6 million on lobbying in 2007.

The Plaintiffs include attorneys general from Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia, plus representatives of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the cities of New York and Baltimore, and several environmental organizations.

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