New York state can continue to participate in a multistate effort to curb greenhouse gases, after a court dismissed a conservative legal challenge to the effort, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
Members of Americans for Prosperity, a group founded and largely financed by oil industry interests, filed the suit last year in state Supreme Court in Albany against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and two state agencies, arguing that the program imposed what amounted to an illegal tax on electric ratepayers.
The group said that by making power companies pay for their carbon dioxide emissions, the program imposed costs that the companies then passed on to consumers. Such “coercive taxes” are illegally levied without approval from the state legislature, the group argued.
But in a decision signed on Tuesday, Thomas J. McNamara, an acting State Supreme Court justice, wrote that the plaintiffs lacked the standing to press their case because they had failed to establish that they had suffered a “distinct” injury from New York’s participation in RGGI (pronounced reggie).
So Americans for Prosperity, humbled, will recede back into the shadows from whence it came, right? Well, that description of “a group founded and largely financed by oil industry interests” glosses over a key sponsor: the now-famous Koch brothers. If this profile of the group’s increasingly muscular political activity is any indicator, the New York Supreme Court basically just threw a two-inch speedbump in the path of a steamroller.
A steamroller that can also fly.
And that weighs 45 billion tons.
And runs on clean, wholesome, American crude oil.