Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II has announced that 12 states have filed motions to join appeals previously filed by Virginia, Texas and Alabama to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) endangerment finding regarding the potential regulation of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs).
‘The potential regulations resulting from the endangerment finding could severely impact Virginia jobs; energy, agriculture, manufacturing and other industries; as well as put a tremendous financial burden on Virginia citizens,’ says Cuccinelli. ‘We believe it is imperative that we ensure the process leading to the finding was carried out consistently with American law and scientific standards. That is why we appealed.’
In December 2009, the EPA announced that GHGs threaten the public health and welfare of Americans. The endangerment finding covered emissions of six key greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride – that have been the subject of scrutiny and analysis for decades by scientists in the U.S. and around the world.
After eight Democratic senators expressed concerns about economic and security issues relating to the potential regulation of GHG emissions from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act (CAA), EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson issued a letter stating that permit requirements and GHG regulations for large stationary sources would be phased in beginning in 2011. In the first half of 2011, only those facilities that already must apply for CAA permits as a result of non-GHG emissions will need to address emissions in permit applications, the letter states, according to the EPA.
The 12 states filing motions in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to join Virginia's appeal are Nebraska, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.