Virginia Files Challenge to E.P.A. Greenhouse Gas Regulation

February 18, 2010, 1:30 pm

<!– — Updated: 3:30 pm –>

By ALEXANDRA CHENEY

Virginia’s attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, filed a petition Tuesday asking the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its finding that global warming poses a threat to people.

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Mr. Cuccinelli, seeking to block the decision, also filed a petition with a federal appeals court for a review of the December E.P.A. finding, in which the agency asserted that carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases emitted from automobiles, power plants and factories “threaten the public health and welfare of the American people.”

In part, the move was aimed at encouraging Congress to enact legislation to manage the distribution of these gases into the atmosphere — essentially telling lawmakers, as John Broder reported late last year, that if they do not act to control greenhouse gas pollution, the E.P.A. would “use its rule-making power to do so.”

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Mr. Cuccinelli called the E.P.A.’s finding “an incredibly far-reaching decision” arising from what he called uncertain data and a “flawed process.”

“The potential impact of the finding on Virginia agriculture, the energy industry, manufacturing jobs, and in truth the cost of living for every single Virginian,” Mr. Cuccinelli said, “would create a staggering burden.”

Mr. Cuccinelli also added that the E.P.A. should consider new information, including recently publicized e-mail messages from a British climate research institute. Mr. Cuccinelli said the e-mail messages showed scientists using faulty data to support the notion of manmade global warming.

He also referenced the work of the International Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations body charged with assessing climate research, which has come under criticism from climate change skeptics for what they say has been sloppy science and, in some instances, conflicts of interest among panel members.

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