States file brief challenging EPA's greenhouse gas ruling

Jessica M. Karmasek May 24, 2011, 9:54am


AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott last week filed the opening brief in a group of states' challenge to the federal Environmental Protection Agency's Greenhouse Gas Endangerment Finding.

The 41-page brief, filed Friday on behalf of 14 other states, argues that the EPA failed to comply with the law when it issued its greenhouse gas regulations and urges the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to strike down the agency's finding.

In December 2009, the EPA finalized an endangerment finding that concluded that greenhouse gases, or GHGs, pose a danger to human welfare, and that GHG emissions contribute to global warming. The finding was the first rule in a series to coerce states to regulate GHGs.

The Attorney General's Office contends the regulations threaten job losses and the nation's economic recovery. The brief also asserts that the agency's endangerment finding is both arbitrary and capricious, and failed to comply with the federal Clean Air Act.

The brief argues that the endangerment finding is legally flawed because the EPA "refused to determine what 'atmospheric concentrations' of GHGs" pose a threat to humans -- which is required by the Clean Air Act.

The states argue that the EPA made no "attempt to determine whether reducing GHG emissions will have any impact on climate change."

In addition to the challenge to the endangerment finding, the states also are challenging five other regulations that are intended to further the agency's greenhouse-gas regulatory regime.

The 15 states include: Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at

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