Twelve US states, three cities and several prominent environmental groups told a court on Friday that the United States government had a legal duty to restrict greenhouse gas emissions. They said the Clean Air Act mandated the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate all emissions which damaged human welfare.
In August 2003, the EPA denied a petition from the nonprofit International Center for Technology Assessment and other groups that sought to impose new controls on auto emissions. The agency said it lacked authority from Congress to regulate greenhouse gases, based on a legal opinion from the agency's top lawyer -- who had reversed the Clinton-era legal opinion that the gases should be regulated under the Clean Air Act.
The states challenging the EPA are California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, along with the U.S. territory of American Samoa and the cities of Baltimore, New York and Washington.
A number of other states, including Michigan, together with the auto industry, are opposed to the case, which would - if successful - force a shift in policy from the Bush administration. Michigan's attorney general has implied that regulation of CO2 would force an increase in automobile prices, hurting Michigan's auto industry.
Different perspectives from BBC NEWS and the Washington Post.
Technorati: climate change