A battle royal may be brewing as opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed regulation of greenhouse-gas emissions mounts. Recently, three states, along with several industry groups, filed lawsuits challenging the EPA’s December “endangerment finding,” which said greenhouse gases pose a threat to public health and welfare.
Meanwhile, the EPA says it is confident the finding will withstand legal challenge, and 16 states and New York City say they may intervene on behalf of the EPA.
On Feb. 16, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) announced that Texas, which emits more carbon dioxide than any other state, filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, challenging the endangerment finding.
In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the EPA the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act (CAA), and the agency’s endangerment finding is seen as the first step toward developing a regulation. The states of Virginia and Alabama also filed separate petitions.
Perry says federal curbs on greenhouse gases would de- stroy “hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
Several business and industry associations also filed petitions on Feb. 16, including the National Association of Home Builders and the Portland Cement Association. John Shaw, senior vice president of government affairs with the PCA, says the cement industry has worked closely with Congress “to develop what might be acceptable policy with regard to greenhouse gases.” But, he adds, most industry groups want to be sure the EPA is not overstepping its bounds within the context of the CAA.