Virginia Fighting Feds Over Greenhouse Gases

Attorney general takes aim at EPA

By Matthew Stawarz
|  Wednesday, Feb 17, 2010  |  Updated 9:00 AM EDT
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Virginia Doesn't Mind Being a Little Gassy

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He’s no scientist, but Virginia’s attorney general is taking on the federal government over greenhouse gases.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said Tuesday he has asked the Environmental Protection to delay final consideration of that finding so ``newly available information'' can be reviewed. He did not elaborate on what that information is.
 
Cuccinelli tells the Associated Press he plans to legally challenge the EPA's finding, which would regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
 
Virginia's actions are aimed at a December EPA "endangerment" finding about carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, setting the stage for future rules restricting such emissions.
 
He has the governor in his corner. A spokeswoman for Gov. Bob McDonnell said Cuccinelli ``is acting in the best interests of the citizens of Virginia.''
 
Why challenge the government? Money, of course.
 
“The current federal position could have a negative impact on job creation and economic development in the commonwealth and should be reconsidered,” the spokeswoman, Stacey Johnson, wrote in an e-mail to the AP.
 
The Sierra Club criticized the challenge, calling it a waste of taxpayers' money.
 
“Cuccinelli is embarrassing the citizens of Virginia at the taxpayers' expense,” said Glen Besa, director of the Virginia chapter of the environmental group.
 
Virginia joined Texas in challenging the EPA, saying the agency's finding was based on flawed science.
 
The U.S. Supreme Court declared in 2007 that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are pollutants that the EPA could regulate if found to endanger public health. The Bush administration never acted on the court order.

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