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States sue EPA over refinery emissions

By Timothy Gardner
Reuters / August 26, 2008
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NEW YORK - Twelve states, including all six in New England, are suing federal environmental regulators over greenhouse gas emissions from oil refineries, the New York attorney general's office said yesterday.

The suit, led by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, charges that the Environmental Protection Agency violated the federal Clean Air Act by refusing to issue standards, known as new source performance standards, for controlling global warming pollution emissions from oil refineries.

"The EPA's refusal to control pollution from oil refineries is the latest example of the Bush administration's do-nothing policy on global warming," Cuomo said in a release.

In a ruling last year, the Supreme Court found that the EPA has the power to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

Since then, the EPA head has said it is Congress's job to regulate emissions of gases blamed for warming the planet.

Coalitions of states have also sued the EPA to require it to set standards for global warming emissions from power plants and to uphold the right of states.

The suit seeks to force the EPA to control oil refinery emissions of greenhouse pollution and to order the agency to adopt the standards.

EPA spokesman Tim Lyons said time and money would be better spent by encouraging Congress to take action on sound environmental legislation rather than introducing law suits.

The states and cities in the suit are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as Washington, D.C., and New York City.

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