Thursday, November 29, 2012

EPA On Notice For Suit On GHG Cap-And-Trade Program

Nov 28: The Institute for Policy Integrity (IPI) at New York University School of Law submitted a notice of intent to file suit against U.S. EPA unless the Agency institutes a cap, or limit, on greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions from cars, boats, and planes. IPI indicated that over the past four years, EPA has put several regulations in place to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. But none are as comprehensive and cost-effective as placing a cap on emissions. IPI said, "According to almost all economists, that means companies pay more than necessary to comply."
    Richard Revesz, dean of the New York University School of Law said, "The benefits of protecting the public from the threats of climate change outweigh the costs. A cap is the cheapest, best way to address climate change. Why pay more than we must to make necessary cuts to our emissions?"
    IPI indicates that the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy was widely linked with the increased risks associated with climate change of intense storms and the particular exposure of low lying areas. The storm, which came at the end of a presidential election in which climate change was not emphasized by either major party candidate, highlighted the policy gridlock on the issue.
    Michael Livermore,IPI  Executive Director said, "Climate change must remain on the national agenda. Though legislative action is preferable, if Congress is stalled, EPA has the authority to move forward with a cap, reducing emissions and giving businesses flexibility to comply at the lowest possible price tag."
    The filing of the "intent to sue" follows a formal petition by IPI submitted in July 2009 making the same request. The Clean Air Act and Administrative Procedure Act require EPA to respond to petitions within a reasonable amount of time, and allow public petitioners to sue for unreasonable delay. The filing submission serves as the required notice that, unless EPA give[s] the petition prompt consideration, IPI will file suit in 180 days to compel action on the petition. The petition and the potential suit request that EPA regulate greenhouse gases from cars, boats, and planes under Sections 211 and 231 of the Clean Air Act. These sections give EPA broad authority to use a flexible compliance tool like cap-and-trade to rein in GHG emissions.
    Access a release from IPI (click here). Access the intent to sue notice (click here). Access the original petition (click here). Access links to a detailed legal analysis of the Clean Air Act, and fact sheets on the legal background and using cap-and-trade(click here). [#Climate, #Air]
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