Sierra Club Files Emergency Suit to Stop Global Warming
January 15, 2009
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should begin to regulate greenhouse gases immediately, and let California and other states do the same. The climate crisis demands swift action. In the waning days of the Bush presidency, we are yet again lodged in a court battle over this issue. After losing in both the Supreme Court and EPA’s own appeals court (EAB), the Bush Administration, through EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, has yet again refused to protect our country and it citizens by ignoring the legal mandate to address CO2 emissions.
In April 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that CO2 is a pollutant covered by the Clean Air Act. After this decision, the EPA stubbornly refused to address CO2 pollution and continued to grant permits for proposed coal-fired power plants. Because of this inaction, Sierra Club filed suit against EPA in their own appeals court, the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB), after EPA issued a permit for Deseret Power’s proposed Bonanza power plant in Utah. In November 2008, the EAB ruled in favor of Sierra Club’s appeal and again emphasized that the EPA must address CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants. Less than one month after this ruling, Administrator Stephen Johnson released a twenty page memo repeating the same, discredited rationale for why EPA will not regulate greenhouse gas pollution
We remain optimistic that the EAB’s Bonanza decision will open doors for President-Elect Obama to begin work on reducing pollution from coal-fired power plants. It is not a shock that the Bush Administration would take midnight actions to protect polluters. “After almost two years of ignoring the Supreme Court, we did not expect them to give up even in the wake of yet another landmark decision requiring them to act on global warming," said Joanne Spalding, lead attorney for the Sierra Club. "Nevertheless, this administration has now taken desperate measures to protect polluters and, sadly, one more emergency legal action is required to stop them."
The Sierra Club’s legal action, filed on January 15, 2009, is necessary to prevent permits from being issued that could result in tens of millions of tons of additional global warming pollution each year. The action also protects the integrity of the permitting process and the Clean Air Act itself.
Details and Documents:
To read Sierra Club's Petition click here!
To read the full Johnson Memo click here!
Sierra Club Press Release!
For more information about the Bonanza and all proposed coal-fired power plants, please visit our Coal Plant Tracker!
See other "Stop Polluters" cases.