Seventeen states are backing Massachusetts in a petition to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that would force the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Filed one year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the EPA needed to decide on regulating vehicle emissions - a year in which the EPA failed to take any action - the petition asks that the court demand the EPA release a decision in the next 60 days. When Massachusetts took the EPA to court in 2006 to decide the issue, the senior attorney for the Sierra Club, David Bookbinder, told Newsweek that the Supreme Court would have to issue a clear ruling. "There's really no wiggle room. Either EPA has this authority or not. It's a very plain language case," he said at the time. A year and a half later, here we are.

The states are: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia. Thirteen other entities, including the City of New York and the Mayor and City Council for Baltimore, Friends of the Earth, and the Sierra Club, signed onto the suit.

The Massachusetts Attorney General called the 18-state petition an "extraordinary measure to fight the dangers of climate change." We'll see if this is enough to get the EPA to act this time.

[Source: Massachusetts AG via DieselNet]

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