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News Published: Aug 25, 2008 - 11:12:05 PM

Multi-state suit against EPA for failing to regulate global warming pollutants from oil refineries announced

By Attorney General's office

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Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today announced a multi-state lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to regulate harmful pollution from oil refineries.

The lawsuit -- filed by a coalition of 12 states, the District of Columbia and the City of New York -- alleges that the EPA is in violation of the Clean Air Act for failing to adopt standards requiring that new or renovated oil refineries install technologies to control global warming pollution.

The Clean Air Act specifically requires the EPA to adopt standards, known as New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), for oil refineries -- as well as power plants and other major pollution sources -- if the EPA determines they emit air pollution that poses a danger to public health and welfare.

“Enhancing its distinction of environmental disregard, the Bush Administration has again ignored its responsibility by failing to adopt meaningful pollution controls for oil refineries,” Blumenthal said. “The EPA has defied the Clean Air Act and the Supreme Court by repeatedly ignoring a ruling that global warming emissions are pollutants. EPA’s failure to regulate greenhouse gases through state-of-the-art technologies is an abrogation of its responsibilities. Our coalition of states and cities will fight hard -- as we have repeatedly -- to force the EPA to follow the law.”

Oil refineries account for over 3 percent of the total energy consumption in the United States. Due to their large energy consumption, oil refineries are major sources of carbon dioxide, accounting for almost 15 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted from industrial processes nationally. These refineries also emit large amounts of methane, an especially potent global warming pollutant.

Today’s challenge was filed in the federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The coalition includes California, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia and the City of New York. The suit seeks to vacate the EPA’s decision not to control oil refinery emissions of global warming pollution and to order the EPA to adopt proper NSPS.

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