On August 25, 2008, twelve states filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating the Clean Air Act by not regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from oil refineries. A Supreme Court ruling in 2007 found that the EPA had the power to regulate GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act. The suit says that oil refineries account for 3 percent of total U.S. energy consumption and about 15 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from industrial processes; it seeks to force the EPA to adopt new standards to cover these emissions.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is leading the lawsuit filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. New York is joined in filing the suit by California, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia and New York City.
State coalitions have previously sued the EPA in pursuit of standards for power plant emissions and to uphold states’ rights to regulate automobile emissions.