- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
Seven states intend to sue the Bush Administration to force the regulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the nation’s fuel-fired electric generating units (EGUs or power plants). The states are: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Washington.
New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer joined six other state attorneys general, all independently elected Democrats, in the announcement filed Feb. 20 that charges the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to address the climate issue in violation of the Clean Air Act. The announcement contends EPA is required every eight years to review and, if appropriate, revise the New Source Performance Standard for power plants.
“The information available to us indicates that EPA has not undertaken the required review of the efficacy of the … standards for at least two decades,” the announcement states. “The existing standards for SO2 and particulate matter fail to reflect the technological advances that have occurred in the past two decades as well as the current information regarding the environmental harm posed by those pollutants.”
In addition, the state attorneys general charge that no standard exists for CO2 emissions, and the standards for particulate matter and SO2 are obsolete.
The suit also comes on the heels of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s announcement of plans to combat global warming. Blair said in late February that Britain would seek a 60-percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 and criticized Bush’s claim that efforts to reduce warming would harm economic growth.
In accordance with federal law, the states gave EPA Administrator Christine Whitman a 60-day notice of their intention to file the lawsuit. See www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2003/feb/whitman_letter.pdf.