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Environmental group challenges Cuccinelli on emissions rule

Edited by Chris Graham

Following a 2007 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation today jointly issued a final rule on curbing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from light-duty vehicles, which contribute about one-fourth of America’s share of the world’s climate-change pollution.

In addition to helping slow the impacts of climate change, the rule will also reduce the nation’s reliance on foreign oil, cut costs for American consumers, and reduce other pollutants that have a more immediate impact on public health and the environment, including nitrogen oxides which form ozone, and sulfur dioxide which form soot particles. Both ozone and particle pollution are known factors in the growing rates of heart and lung disease.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has publicly stated he plans to challenge this forward-looking rule. The attorney general has already challenged the EPA’s “endangerment finding” that greenhouse gases pose a threat to human health and the environment, and upon which the agency based today’s rule.

SELC filed a motion to intervene on behalf of Wetlands Watch in Cuccinelli’s lawsuit to help defend the EPA’s endangerment finding, and said today it will take a serious look at Cuccinelli’s potential challenge of the tailpipe rule and possibly seek to intervene in that action as well.

Following is a statement from SELC Senior Attorney Trip Pollard, who served on the Virginia Climate Change Commission in 2008:

“Today the federal government has taken historic action to cut pollution from our cars and trucks, one of the largest sources of dirty air. The changes under this rule will bring multiple benefits – to our wallets and our health, the environment, and national security. It’s troubling that the state attorney general would seek to thwart this progress.”

augusta free press
augusta free press