Jerry Brown (D)
SACRAMENTO, Calif., (Legal Newsline)- California Attorney General Jerry Brown continued to wield the power of his office to curb greenhouse gas pollutions on Thursday by announcing plans to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to regulate pollution from ships, aircraft and industrial equipment.
Brown said he is forced to sue on behalf of the state because three formal petitions - issued in October and December of 2007 and January 2008 - have failed to produce action from the EPA.
Federal law authorizes the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases from everything from cargo ships to construction equipment, the attorney general's office said.
"Ships, aircraft and industrial equipment burn huge quantities of fossil fuel and cause massive greenhouse and gas pollution," Brown said, "yet President Bush stalls with one bureaucratic dodge after another."
Brown said the EPA "continues to wantonly ignore its duty regulate pollution."
The announcement escalates the growing feud between California and the beleaguered EPA.
Earlier in the week, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California joined three other colleagues in publicly accusing EPA Director Stephen Johnson of deceiving and confusing the public on global warming issues. The four senators called for Johnson's resignation.
Following a United States Supreme Court ruling that the EPA had the power to take action to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and trucks, California and 17 other states sued the EPA in April for failing to do so.
California and 12 other states again sued the EPA in May, claiming it violated the Clean Air Act because its ozone pollution standards were ineffective.
"If President Bush was serious about America's dangerous and growing foreign oil dependency, he would forthwith direct EPA to do its job and regulate greenhouse gases," Brown said.
California has set a goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
A coalition of environmental groups says it too is considering legal action against the EPA and will send a notice of that intent on Thursday.
In a 13-page letter sent to Johnson notifying him of the state's intent to sue his agency, Brown outlines global warming threats to a number of states.
New Jersey, Connecticut, Oregon and New York City joined California in warning the EPA of coming litigation.