States sue EPA for not regulating CO2

Ten states have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. EPA over what has become a central point of contention between the feds and … people who have to live on the planet for the next 50 years: whether or not the agency has the authority to regulate planet-warming carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Plaintiffs — who’ve been joined by two cities and three green groups — insist that the Clean Air Act covers CO2, and want the EPA to cap CO2 emissions from power plants (and tighten restrictions on other pollutants). The issue is urgent, as some 135 new power plants are in the planning stages, and if they’re free to spew greenhouse gases without restriction, says Daniel Becker of the Sierra Club, they will “blow a hole in the world’s effort to curb global warming.” Two related suits were dismissed last year and are under appeal, but plaintiffs say this suit is more narrowly targeted on the CO2 issue and, says one state lawyer, “we feel we have an extraordinarily strong argument on that point.”