UPDATED: Environmental groups take steps to legally oppose Cuccinelli EPA suit
If Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli had hopes of picking a fight with environmental groups when he filed suit against the EPA's regulation of greenhouse gases last month, he's got one.
The Southern Environmental Law Center, on behalf of the Norfolk-based Wetlands Watch, late Thursday filed motions to intervene in the suit on the side of the EPA.
Thursday was the deadline to file as an intervenor in the case, and a variety of environmental and business groups, as well as other states, have filed to join on both sides. In a press release about the motion, the SELC argues that Cuccinelli's suit disrupts Virginia's efforts to learn how climate change is affecting its coastline and is a wasteful use of taxpayer money.
"It's disturbing that our state attorney general chooses to challenge the mountain of evidence, considering the number of Virginia businesses and residents experiencing firsthand the consequences from rising sea level and other impacts of a changing global climate," said SELC senior attorney Morgan Butler.
The group calls the Virginia suit "an unwarranted stall tactic" and "a dangerous distraction from grappling with the damaging impacts of climate change already in evidence in coastal Virginia."
Read the motion here.
UPDATE 11:34 a.m.: Cuccinelli's office has issued a news release indicating 12 states have now joined Virginia's suit against the EPA. They are: Nebraska, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah.
"While we made the decision to intervene based on what was in the best interests of Virginia and her citizens, it is gratifying to have the support of so many other states," said Cuccinelli in a statement. ""The potential regulations resulting from the endangerment finding could severely impact Virginia jobs; energy, agriculture, manufacturing, and other industries; as well as put a tremendous financial burden on Virginia citizens. We believe it is imperative that we ensure the process leading to the finding was carried out consistently with American law and scientific standards. That is why we appealed."
March 19, 2010; 9:55 AM ET
Categories: Ken Cuccinelli , Rosalind Helderman
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