Attorney General Andrew Cuomo Issues Statement On Historic Global Warming Decision U.s. Supreme Court Rejects Epa's Refusal To Regulate Carbon Dioxide Emissions

NEW YORK, NY (April 2, 2007) Attorney General Andrew Cuomo today announced a historic decision that directly impacts New York State’s efforts to combat global warming pollution and protect public health. In its landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA’s) refusal to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from cars and other vehicles. The court agreed with New York State Attorney General and 12 other State Attorneys General that global warming is a form of pollution and the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had failed to provide adequate reasons for its failure to control carbon emissions from cars and other vehicles.

“This decision is one of the Supreme Court’s most important environmental decisions ever. The message is clear –EPA can no longer offer hollow excuses for failing to address the crisis of global warming,” said Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. “My office played a major role in achieving this victory and we will continue to fight in the courts to protect our environment and the health of New Yorkers.”

The case, known as Massachusetts v EPA, was triggered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's denial of a petition calling upon EPA to regulate global warming pollution from new motor vehicles. In its response, EPA had claimed that global warming pollution did not constitute an "air pollutant" within the meaning of the federal Clean Air Act.

In New York, motor vehicles are responsible for approximately 35% of the carbon dioxide emissions.

“In defense of public health and our environment, this decision ensures that EPA under the Clean Air Act must be required to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, as surely as our Safe Drinking Water Act allows the government to regulate arsenic in our drinking water,” said Cuomo.

New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer said: “The Supreme Court has wisely determined that the EPA has the authority and the responsibility to regulate the carbon dioxide pollution that fuels global climate change. For years, the EPA ran away from this issue and in the process it has badly served the nation. Now, with this sensible ruling from the Court, it is time for the agency to roll up its sleeves and begin the work it should have aggressively tackled years ago.”

New York State Lieutenant Governor David Paterson said: “The decision directs the EPA to comply with its legal obligation under the Clean Air Act to be a leader in protecting citizens from all pollutants, including carbon dioxide. By shunning its responsibility it has ill-served our citizens and negatively impacted global climate change,” said Lieutenant Governor Paterson. “For its part New York will continue to be at the forefront of this issue by reducing our carbon dioxide emissions through our Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, investing in clean renewable energy sources, and promoting the use of alternative fuel vehicles.” Lieutenant Governor Paterson is in charge of advancing and implementing sound renewable energy policies in New York State.