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Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General, 17 States, Two Cities Call On EPA To Determine If CO2 Endangers Human Health, Welfare

February 5, 2009

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to finally comply with a nearly two-year-old U.S. Supreme Court decision ordering it to determine whether carbon dioxide is a danger to human health and welfare and must be regulated.

Blumenthal with 17 other states and two cities made the request in a joint letter to EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

In April 2007, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled in a lawsuit brought by Connecticut and other states that the EPA has the authority to regulate CO2 , obligating it to determine whether carbon dioxide from vehicles endangers public health and welfare. If so, the Clean Air Act requires EPA to limit CO2 emissions, the court found. The Bush administration failed to act.

The letter noted the change in administrations and urged the new Obama EPA to move on the matter.

"I urge the EPA to end the Bush administration's disingenuous, dishonest delay and make an endangerment finding," Blumenthal said. "Overwhelming scientific evidence -- which the Bush administration discarded or distorted -- proves that CO2 is a clear and present danger to humanity, triggering long overdue emission limits.

"We lost vital years in the fight global warming because of the Bush administration's ignorant inaction. I urge the new Obama EPA to declare carbon dioxide a danger to human health and welfare so we can at last begin addressing the potentially disastrous threat global warming poses to health, the environment and our economy. We must make up for lost time before it's too late to curb dangerous warming threatening to devastate the planet and human society."

Blumenthal and other states first demanded in 2003 that EPA regulate CO2 from vehicles under the Clean Air Act. The agency refused, sparking a lengthy court battle that culminated in the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision affirming the states' position that EPA must make a scientific finding on whether CO2 from vehicles endangers human health and welfare and, if it does, regulate the gas.

Also signing today's letter are: Massachusetts, Arizona, California, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington state and the cities of New York and Baltimore.