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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

States Sue EPA

Air Date: Week of

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Host Steve Curwood talks with Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal about a suit brought by 12 states to force the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as pollutants.


CURWOOD: With the federal government stalled over any action on climate change, states are taking the lead. Attorneys general from twelve states recently filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its failure to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Richard Blumenthal is attorney general for Connecticut, and joins me from his office in Hartford. Welcome.

BLUMENTHAL: Thank you.

CURWOOD: Mr. Blumenthal, this isn’t the first time that Connecticut has filed suit against the EPA over global warming. I believe your state, along with Massachusetts and Maine, brought a similar suit in June, filed in the federal district court there in your state, in Hartford. What’s different this time around?

BLUMENTHAL: What’s different is that the federal government has clearly and unequivocally said that global warming is not a threat. What’s different now is that the EPA has determined, authoritatively, that CO2 and other greenhouse gasses do not cause global warming and global warming is not a threat to the planet. So we filed before simply to force the administration to reach a conclusion. Now it’s reached a conclusion that essentially ignores the problem. And we believe that the EPA has a duty under the law to classify carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions as a threat and a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

CURWOOD: If I understand it correctly, Mr. Blumenthal, all 12 of you attorneys general that have filed this suit are Democrats. How fair is that criticism that this might be a partisan effort?

BLUMENTHAL: There really is absolutely nothing partisan about this action. Indeed, some of the states filing this action have Republican governors, such as Massachusetts, even Connecticut, New York. So there really is very strong bipartisan support for this effort, essentially to compel the administration to follow the law.

CURWOOD: Richard Blumenthal is attorney general for the state of Connecticut.

BLUMENTHAL: Thank you.

CURWOOD: In its defense, The EPA says Congress has given the agency no authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide at this time.

[MUSIC: Kronos Quartet “Tilliboyo (Sunset) ” PIECES OF AFRICA (Nonesuch -1992)]



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