Sunday, April 6, 2008

18 States Petition for GHG Emissions Control

17 states have joined the state of Massachusetts in a petition in regards to regulating green house gases emissions to the U.S. Courts of Appeals in the District of Columbia. This was filed a year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the EPA needed to take action in regulating vehicle emissions. So far the EPA has not taken any substantial action in regards to the Supreme Court ruling. Therefore, in response, 18 states have sent out a petition asking the court to force the EPA to take action concerning GHG emissions regulation within the next 60 days. These states include, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia. There are 13 other entities that have signed the petition, including the City of New York and the Sierra Club.

The ruling in Massachusetts vs. the EPA, stated that the EPA has the authority to regulate GHG's under the Clean Air Act, contrary to the EPA's claim. The court also stated that the EPA could not refuse this ruling under the grounds of the agency's policy preferences. The EPA, through scientific study, have to reach a conclusion on whether or not GHG is a concern to the public health and welfare.

In my opinion, I do believe green house gases is absolutely a concern to public health and welfare, and there are probably plenty of third party research that would support this claim. It is a little unclear whether the petition is forcing the EPA to draft a plan to regulate GHG's or whether the petition is giving the EPA 60 days to admit that they will need to draft a strategy to regulate GHG emissions. Even after this, it could take possibly several years for their plan to be initiated. It seems to be a great undertaking and so far, there has been no substantial step in the right direction. What do you think the EPA should do? Should there be a timeline the EPA should follow? It seems that many corporations are calling for GHG controls such as the CEO of Duke Energy. Setting up the rules means that everybody has to abide them, therefore not creating disadvantages to businesses that want to curb GHG's.

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