Some Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives, three states and a large group of associations and companies have filed lawsuits in federal appeals court challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare.
All the actions were filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
According to Shannon Goessling, executive director and legal counsel for the Southeastern Legal Foundation, the organization filed the lawsuit because "The scientific basis for the EPA endangerment finding is flawed, based on questionable and potentially fraudulent data, and certainly does not rise to the level of certainty necessary to upend the American economy, toss millions out of work, and which promises little or no climate change benefit over the next half-century."
The state of Texas also filed a legal challenge to the endangerment finding. Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said the petition outlines "how EPA has ignored major scientific conclusions, and questions the federal government decision to regulate greenhouse gas emissions based on fragile claims."
Most of the other petitions contained similar words questioning the legitimacy of EPA's data.
The endangerment finding allows EPA to move forward with proposed regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks. The finding responded to a decision in 2007 by the U.S. Supreme Court saying that greenhouse gas emissions are air pollutants under the Clean Air Act, and that EPA must make a finding on whether they endanger public health and welfare and justify its decision based on science.
The agency is planning to take final action in March.
Legislation has been introduced in the Senate to overturn the endangerment finding, and in the House to rescind EPA authority over greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.