Monday, May 23, 2011

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Texas Files Opening Brief In Challenge To EPA's Unlawful Endangerment Finding

AUSTIN – On behalf of 14 States, the State of Texas today filed the opening brief in its challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Endangerment Finding. The brief explains that the EPA failed to comply with the law when it issued its greenhouse-gas regulations and urges the court to strike down the Endangerment Finding.

In December 2009, the EPA finalized an Endangerment Finding that concluded that greenhouse gases (GHGs) – which are naturally occurring – pose a danger to human welfare. The Endangerment Finding was the first rule in a series to coerce states to regulate GHGs. The regulations threaten job losses and the nation’s economic recovery. The brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit asserts that the EPA’s Endangerment Finding is both arbitrary and capricious and failed to comply with the federal Clean Air Act.

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States' brief against EPA's Endangerment Finding

The EPA’s Endangerment Finding concluded that greenhouse-gas emissions contribute to the “perceived but undefined danger” variously referred to as global warming or climate change. The States’ brief explains that the Endangerment Finding is legally flawed because the EPA “refused to determine what ‘atmospheric concentrations’ of GHGs” pose a threat to humans – which is required by the Clean Air Act. When the EPA issues an Endangerment Finding, the Clean Air Act requires the agency to establish clear standards. The States’ brief explains that the EPA made no “attempt to determine whether reducing GHG emissions will have any impact on climate change.”

The States’ legal action involves the EPA’s unprecedented effort to regulate GHGs under the Clean Air Act. In addition to the challenge to the Endangerment Finding, the States are also challenging five other regulations that are intended to further the EPA’s greenhouse-gas regulatory regime.