Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Anniversary of Supreme Court Decision on Carbon Dioxide

It has been exactly one year since the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that EPA must regulate carbon dioxide. Now some environmental groups, Attorneys General and states intend to take EPA back to court to force the agency to issue an 'Endangerment Determination,' which would formally list carbon dioxide as a pollutant and begin the process of developing rules for managing the greenhouse gas. The petition filed by the coalition today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit asks the court to order the agency to publish within 60 days its analysis that found that such emissions endanger humans as well as contribute to climate change.

A press teleconference was held today to discuss new legal developments in the case of Mass.v. EPA. Presenters at the press conference included:

1) G. Edmund Brown, Jr., Attorney General of California

2) James Milkey, Chief of Environmental Protection, Mass. Attorney General's Office

3) David Bookbinder, Sierra Club Chief Climate Counsel

4) Joe Mendelson, Legal Director, International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA).

The ICTA brought the original petition that lead to this case. James Milkey argued the case before the Supreme Court. The groups believe EPA has willfully chosen to ignore the Supreme Court's instructions. EPA's refusal to act has compelled the plaintiffs to take the agency back to court to force it to comply with the High Court's decision. The one hour discussion today included the implication that if the EPA administrator violates an anticipated court order, he could be jailed for contempt.

In another development, today the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, chaired Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), voted to subpoena EPA’s documents related to its regulation of tailpipe emissions of heat-trapping gases.

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