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Official Opinions

 

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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

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For Release:   February 17, 2010
For media inquiries only, contact: Brian J. Gottstein
Email: bgottstein@oag.state.va.us (best contact method)
Phone: 804-786-5874

Cuccinelli Petitions EPA and Files for Judicial Review

                                      
Richmond- Today, Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, petitioned the United States Environmental Protection Agency to convene a proceeding for the reconsideration of the “Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Finding for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act”(Endangerment Finding) published by the EPA on December 15th, 2009.

Following the close of the public comment period on the proposed Endangerment Finding, internal e-mails and documents from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia were released to the public. In these e-mails and documents, the manner in which the Climate Research Unit’s global warming data was developed, analyzed, and handled was questioned. The Climate Research Unit scientists questioned the reliability of the data, and the methodologies used in developing and analyzing such data.

Attorney General Cuccinelli believes that the EPA acted in an arbitrary and capricious fashion and failed to properly exercise its judgment by relying almost exclusively on reports from the IPCC in attributing climate change to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. In doing so, the EPA substantially ceded its obligation to make a judgment on the dangers of green house gas emissions. Also, the IPCC is an international body that is not subject to U.S. data quality and transparency standards and the IPCC prepared their reports in total disregard to U.S. standards. Because the EPA is an agency of the United States, its regulatory actions will have far-reaching consequences for the citizens of Virginia. Therefore, the EPA must abide by U.S. standards.

Also, due to the EPA’s findings, the Commonwealth of Virginia will suffer economically due to the EPA’s findings. The EPA failed to consider the resulting economic impacts of its Endangerment Finding. The EPA’s remote findings of endangerment of health and welfare as a cause for its Endangerment finding, is rendered moot because the EPA failed to properly consider and weigh the harms to health and welfare that flow directly from this regulation.

Attorney General Cuccinelli commented on the petition: “There are significant issues with the EPA basing much of its Endangerment Finding on IPCC reports. The IPCC reports were produced without regard to U.S. data standards and thus lack the transparency and data quality standards that the EPA should be demanding in the reports it bases it’s Endangerment Findings on. The EPA was driven by political concerns and used questionable scientific reports to reach an outcome driven by politics. The EPA findings of endangerment of health and welfare are hypocritical as they failed to consider and properly weigh the offsetting harms to the health and welfare that will flow from their economically destructive regulation.
The EPA needs to stop playing politics with its regulations. The EPA’s Endangerment finding will harm the Commonwealth of Virginia.

We cannot allow unelected bureaucrats with political agendas to use falsified data to regulate American industry and drive our economy into the ground.”

In response to this petition, the EPA must reconvene the regulatory proceeding, provide the public with the opportunity to comment on the newly available information, and provide such information to the Science Advisory Board for its review and comment.

The petitions are available online under the Court Filings page on the Attorney General Office’s website.
http://www.oag.state.va.us/LEGAL_LEGIS/CourtFilings/index.html

This press release and audio comments from the press conference will also be available online under the Newsroom page on the Attorney General Office’s website.
http://www.oag.state.va.us/PRESS_RELEASES/Press_Releases.html

For Further Information Contact:    Daniel Dodds
                                                (m) 804.971.0830
                                                (o) 804.371.2417