Cuccinelli challenges EPA on global warming findings

By Rosalind S. Helderman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 16, 2010; 12:09 PM

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has filed a court motion attempting to use the Obama administration's new fuel standards for cars to force the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its decision to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

Cuccinelli is attempting to get the EPA to undo a decision that it can regulate emissions because they cause global warming, which it ruled is harmful to human health. He believes the EPA's regulation of carbon dioxide will cost Virginia businesses money and cause energy prices to rise.

His motion, filed Thursday, argues that the new fuel standards show the EPA does not plan to reopen its hearings on the issue -- essentially rejecting his petition that it do so -- since the fuel standards were promulgated using the same logic that greenhouse gases are causing Earth to warm and hurting human health. He asks the court to now compel the EPA to reopen the issue.

The suit basically attempts to get a court to pass judgment on the science behind global warming. Cuccinelli argues it is politically motivated, citing leaked e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit at East Anglia in Britain.

Many scientists believe the evidence that humans are causing Earth to warm is sound. If Cuccinelli's case proceeds, that issue will likely be decided by a judge.

"Whatever the final decision is by the EPA, we want it to be based on sound scientific data, not data that has been sifted through a political filter," Cuccinelli said in a news release about the filing.

The motion was filed jointly with Alabama in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Meanwhile, the EPA has asked the court to hold off further action in the case until it can complete an administrative review of its findings. The EPA anticipates completing that process July 31, and therefore asks for a delay until Aug. 16.

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