States Sue EPA for Inaction
BOSTON --- Eighteen states are taking the Environmental Protection Agency back to court in an effort to force the agency to comply with a Supreme Court ruling that rebuked the Bush administration for inaction on global warming, the Associated Press reported.
In a petition prepared for filing, state officials argue that the Supreme Court ruling last April required that the EPA decide whether to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. But the EPA has failed to take action in the past year since the court decision, the plaintiffs argue.
The plaintiffs in this latest court action are attorneys general from Massachusetts, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia, in addition to representatives of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the cities of New York and Baltimore, and several environmental groups.
The petition asks the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to require the EPA to take action within 60 days.
"The EPA's failure to act in the face of these incontestable dangers is a shameful dereliction of duty," said Martha Coakley, attorney general for Massachusetts.
But EPA spokesman Jonathan Shradar told the AP that the Supreme Court ruling set no deadline for the agency to evaluate how it would regulate greenhouse gases. Shradar added that the agency plans to include the evaluation in a broader look at how to best regulate all greenhouse gas emissions, not just those from vehicles.
"We want to set a good foundation to build a strong climate policy of potential regulation and laws we can work toward and actually see some success," Shradar told the AP.