February 15, 2008

AG Suthers: the Ball's in Ritter's Court

Colorado is the only state not joining in a lawsuit to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency's refusal to let states curb greenhouse gas pollution from vehicle tailpipes.

And today, at a University of Denver climate change law symposium, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers pointed the finger at Governor Ritter. In response to a question from Rocky Mountain Clean Air Action, Suthers stated that he would join in the fight to overturn the EPA's decision...if Governor Ritter's office asked him to.

Is he punting or telling the truth?

To review, the EPA last December rejected a request by California to adopt more stringent tailpipe emission standards. These same standards have been adopted or proposed for adoption by 17 states, including Colorado. Under the Clean Air Act, states have two choices--either adopt the EPA's tailpipe standards or California's. Because of the EPA's decision, states like Colorado can't curb greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle tailpipes.

So far, the states of California, Iowa, Florida, Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Pennsylvania have all joined in a lawsuit against the EPA.

Colorado is conspicuously absent from this list. And that's confusing, to say the least. Last November, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter called for the adoption of California's clean car standards to help fight climate change.

So do we point the finger at Governor Ritter or Attorney General Suthers for not defending our ability to adopt clean cars?

Maybe it doesn't matter. After all, Rocky Mountain Clean Air has joined the lawsuit to defend Colorado's ability to adopt clean car standards. While the State itself may be missing in action, at least citizens are stepping up to the plate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Would it be helpful to write Gov. Ritter to ask that CO be included in the suit against the EPA? I'm pleased that the Rocky Mt. Clean Air Action organization is joining this fight, but our state government would surely carry more weight in cooperation with the other states. Tightening up tailpipe emissions is a must considering the increasing number of vehicles on our streets.