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State taking EPA to court over greenhouse gas finding

JACKSON — Gov. Haley Barbour, on behalf of the State of Mississippi, has joined other states in opposing an EPA finding that is a precursor to the regulation of greenhouse gases.

Barbour maintains that these regulations would unnecessarily harm the economy of Mississippi and the United States by causing energy costs to increase and placing U.S. employers at a disadvantage to their foreign competitors.

In a motion filed yesterday in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Mississippi joined with 11 other states in support of petitions filed by Virginia, Alabama, and Texas challenging an EPA ruling that greenhouse gases constitute a threat to public health and should be regulated under the Clean Air Act. EPA has indicated this finding will lead to regulation of both motor vehicles and stationary sources, such as electricity generators, manufacturers and petroleum refineries.

Barbour said more regulation of these industries will drive up energy and consumer product prices.

“The Obama administration is trying to use the EPA to enact a cap-and-trade policy they couldn’t get passed in Congress,” Barbour said. “This is a regulatory scheme that will impact the entire economy without having any significant impact on global greenhouse gas levels.

“To me, this is unconscionable. The Obama Administration should be focused on creating more and cheaper American energy in all forms, not on heavy-handed regulation that will drive away American jobs.”

The motion was filed in the D.C. Circuit in Coalition for Responsible Regulation Inc. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 09-1322. Miss. Code Ann. § 7-1-5(n) authorizes the Governor to bring suit in his name for the State of Mississippi, in any matter affecting the public interest.

The governor is represented in this action by Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, a Jackson law firm.

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