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Abbott files opening brief in tailpipe challenge

By Bryan Cohen | Jun 6, 2011


AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced on Monday that the state of Texas has filed an opening brief in a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency's Tailpipe Rule on the behalf of nine states.

The EPA's Tailpipe Rule is meant to limit greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. The brief contends that the rule goes against the federal Clean Air Act.

The brief, which was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, asserts that the EPA's tailpipe rule is arbitrary and that it fails to comply with the Clean Air Act, that the EPA refused to consider the enormous costs its regulations impose on consumers and businesses, and that the EPA has exceeded its statutory authority by issuing the tailpipe rule despite Abbott's allegations that the rule does not fall under the regulation of air pollutants that pose a danger to human beings' health and welfare.

In a May 23 brief, the state argued that the endangerment finding by the EPA was an incorrect and unauthorized assumption that greenhouse gas emissions endanger human welfare and health.

The brief says that the tailpipe rule triggers "one of the most expansive and onerous regulatory problems" in U.S. history by impermissibly expanding the authority granted to the EPA under federal law by imposing the new regulations on houses, schools, churches and small businesses that had previously only been applied to large industrial facility.

The rule, which results in an "unprecedented expansion of EPA authority" according to the brief, has "a profound effect on virtually every sector of the economy and touch[es] every household in the land."

The state of Texas is currently challenging all six of the EPA's greenhouse gas regulations imposed since the December 2009 endangerment finding concluded that greenhouse gases pose a danger to human welfare.

Other rules opposed by the state include the Triggering and Tailoring Rules because of their alleged threat to destroy American jobs and derail the nation's economic recovery by imposing burdensome and unnecessary new costs on countless employers in every sector of the economy.

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