A group of U.S. states Tuesday challenged a July court ruling upholding the Environmental Protection Agency's refusal to regulate greenhouse gas emission, a factor in global warming.
BOSTON A group of U.S. states Tuesday challenged a July court ruling upholding the Environmental Protection Agency's refusal to regulate greenhouse gas emission, a factor in global warming.
Led by Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly, the five states and the District of Columbia filed a petition asking the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to review the July decision by a panel of the court, which Reilly said "allowed (the EPA) to continue on its path of inaction."
"This case deals with one of the most serious environmental threats of our time," Reilly said in a statement. "Surely it warrants a decision by the full court."
The group, which includes the attorneys general of Maine, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia, said the EPA could not refuse to regulate greenhouse gases "simply because it opposes such regulation on policy grounds."
Last month, however, two judges on a panel of three upheld the EPA's refusal to do so, ruling the agency did not abuse its discretion. EPA officials did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
In 1999, environmental groups filed a petition asking the agency to set emission standards for greenhouse gases including carbon monoxide, a factor in global warming, but the EPA denied the petition four years later.
President Bush, who had made campaign promises to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, in 2001 said they were not air pollutants that could be regulated under the Clean Air Act. He also eschewed the Kyoto Protocol, the greenhouse gas reduction plan adopted by more than 150 countries.
Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island are three of nine Northeastern states currently working on a plan to reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by capping carbon dioxide emissions.