HARTFORD – Attorney General George Jepsen and state Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Daniel Esty praised a federal appeals court decision today that upheld government standards regulating greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global warming.
Connecticut was one of 18 states and a number of national environmental organizations that intervened in support of the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s findings and rules, which had been challenged by industry groups and a various other states.
“This decision is important in our state’s continuing effort to protect public health and safety by reducing pollutants in our air,” Attorney General Jepsen said. “It will also enable the EPA to take the steps it deems necessary to address climate change.”
Commissioner Esty said “the federal regulations upheld by the court today represent a step forward by EPA to address what is, perhaps, the most significant economic, energy and environmental issue of the 21st century.”
“The nation needs a more comprehensive approach on climate change, but in the absence of congressional action, the court has rightfully upheld EPA’s actions under the Clean Air Act,” Esty said.
The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the EPA’s findings that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health. It also upheld the rules the agency set to reduce emissions of those gases from motor vehicles and large stationary sources such as manufacturing facilities and power plants.
The new emission standards followed the landmark Supreme Court decision, Massachusetts v. EPA, in 2007, which determined that greenhouse gases are a pollutant and could be regulated by the EPA under the federal Clean Air Act.
Assistant Attorneys General Matthew Levine, Scott Koschwitz and Kimberly Massicotte, head of the Environment Unit, handled this matter for the Attorney General, with Associate Attorney General Joseph Rubin.
The court’s opinion and order: