One of the defendants in a lawsuit challenging the legitimacy of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) has said the charges are not valid, reports The New York Times.
The suit was filed by Indeck Energy, owner of a natural gas plant in Corinth, N.Y. In it, the company challenges the state’s authority to participate in RGGI without legislative approval, and rejects the validity of carbon trading program, because it has not been given an official ‘okay’ from federal lawmakers.
But the protesting defendant, the director of the Office of Climate Change in New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation, says RGGI was adopted pursuant to authority provided to his department by the New York legislature. Moreover, the department had previously used the same type of authority to join California’s GHG emissions standard and was not challenged at that time.
California’s emissions standards are stricter than those on the federal level. Mary Nichols, California’s top air quality regulator, predicts the by May ’09 President Barack Obama’s administration will allow the state to impose its own tough limits on vehicle GHG emissions.