Federal Judge Dismisses Greenhouse Gas Lawsuit

Federal Judge Dismisses Greenhouse Gas Lawsuit

Courts Wrong Venue for Making Air Quality Policy
September 15, 2005

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Washington, D.C., September 15, 2005—A federal judge today dismissed a lawsuit brought by several states and environmental groups aimed at forcing major utility companies to reduce their emissions of greenhouses gases. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

 

“Judge Loreta A. Preska deserves a medal for clearly explaining why legal restrictions on CO2 emissions are ‘transcendently legislative’ and thus could not be imposed by a court without violating separation of powers and the judicial doctrine that prohibits courts from reviewing ‘non-justiciable political questions,’” said Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis, Jr.

 

The suit would have required Judge Preska to craft an elaborate set of legislative responses, including determination of proper levels of greenhouse gas emissions, necessary reduction levels for each company and appropriate impacts on U.S. national security and international treaty negotiations, among others.

 

“The CO2 litigation game has always been about bypassing the political branches,” continued Lewis. “By refusing to legislate from the bench, Judge Preska has squashed the latest attempt by the state attorneys general to substitute their will for that of the people's elected representatives.”

 

The lawsuit was brought by eight states, New York City and several environmental groups against American Electric Power Co., Southern Co., Tennessee Valley Authority, Xcel Energy Inc. and Cinergy Corp.