States sue EPA

Posted by Christine, October 7, 2011

The Associated Press

ATLANTA — Georgia joined a growing number of states on Thursday seeking to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s new pollution restrictions.

The complaint filed by Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens targets the EPA’s new cross-state pollution rules, which are designed to decrease smokestack emissions in 27 states that contribute to unhealthy air in other states.

Olens said federal regulators have “overstepped their authority with a heavy-handed federal takeover of the enforcement of environmental regulations.”

Seven other states have also sued over the rule, and GOP presidential contender Texas Gov. Rick Perry has used it as campaign fodder to claim that the EPA his meddling in state affairs during tough economic times.

The rule requires the 27 states to cap and regulate sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, which mostly come from coal-fired power plants. The first deadline is Jan. 1.

It’s aimed at helping to reduce smokestack pollution causing smog and soot in downwind states. For example, regulators say forcing Georgia to decrease emissions of the pollutants could help clean the air in neighboring states.

Georgia’s move comes the same day the EPA proposed easing some of the restrictions for 10 states, but Georgia wasn’t one of them.

Seven other states have filed a similar lawsuit. They are Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Christine adds: That’s their take on it, but the fact is that a Green Economy will create more jobs and better jobs while building a better world. David Roberts writes in Mother Jones:

Even as it tallies up specific jobs in specific industries, the green-jobs crew is missing a chance to confront the toxic premise that sustainability is at odds with economic growth. A country that takes on the massive task of creating a clean and efficient economy will put more people to work, create competitive industries, and ultimately make all jobs a little greener.

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