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Terry Goddard Joins Letter Questioning EPA’s Delay on Emission Rules

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Jan. 23, 2008) Attorney General Terry Goddard today expressed concern that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has yet to issue proposed regulations regarding carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Last April, the U.S. Supreme Court established that the EPA has authority to issue such regulations under the Clean Air Act.

Goddard joined 16 state Attorneys General and other officials in a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson that questions why the agency has unreasonably delayed this process. The letter notes that EPA has publicly acknowledged that the agency must determine whether greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health or welfare, and it expressed frustration that EPA has failed to act.

“The rulemaking petition at issue in Massachusetts v. EPA was filed in 1999, now almost a decade ago. EPA’s failure to exercise its clear authority under the Clean Air Act and to act on the petition constitutes an abdication of its regulatory responsibility,” Goddard said in the letter to Johnson.

“We once again urge EPA to immediately begin the regulatory process by publishing formal notice of EPA’s conclusion that greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles and other sources ‘cause, or contribute to, air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.’”

Goddard joined the Attorneys General from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. All of these states, together with the City of New York and the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, were petitioners in Massachusetts v. EPA, or joined amicus briefs in support of the petitioners.

Last month in a separate emissions dispute, the EPA announced it would not grant a waiver to allow California and other states, including Arizona, to adopt their own more stringent emission standards. Goddard joined other state Attorneys General in a federal court challenge of EPA’s waiver denial.

A copy of the letter to Johnson is attached.

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