EPA Threatened With Lawsuit to Force Cap on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU Law School has notified the US EPA that it will file a lawsuit against the agency unless a cap on greenhouse gas from cars, boats and airplanes is enacted, under the authority of the Clean Air Act.

The move comes just as President Obama signed a bill requiring US airlines to be excluded from the EU airline emissions trading program, now on hold.

In publicizing the notice of intent Policy Integrity touts the benefits of a cap on emissions, from an economic perspective:

Over the past four years, EPA has put several regulations in place to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. But none are as comprehensive and cost-effective as placing a cap on emissions. According to almost all economists, that means companies pay more than necessary to comply.

In 2009, Policy Integrity submitted a petition to the EPA making the same request. Under the Clean Air Act and Administrative Procedure Act the EPA is supposed to respond to petitions in a reasonable amount of time, and allows petitioners to sue if that has not taken place.

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