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EPA Decision on CO2 Regulation Cheered

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Contact for Interviews: Richard Morrison, 202.331.2273

Washington, D.C., August 29, 2003—The Competitive Enterprise Institute cheers the Environmental Protection Agency’s acknowledgement this week that they do not possess the authority to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act.  Despite legal pressure from the attorneys general of three states to proceed with an unlawful regulatory scheme, the Agency reminded state officials and others that regulation of carbon dioxide does not fall under their authority.   

“Finally, with the leadership at EPA announcing that they will stay within the bounds of the authority Congress has provided, we’re closing an unfortunate episode in the Agency’s history,” said CEI Senior Fellow, Marlo Lewis, Jr.  During the Clinton-Gore administration, EPA falsely claimed that several Clean Air Act regulatory provisions were “potentially applicable” to CO2. “The AGs hoped that EPA, tempted by bureaucratic ambition, would continue to affirm those falsehoods. Fortunately, the Agency has put the rule of law ahead of regulatory zeal.” 

The lawsuit against the EPA by the Attorneys General of Maine, Connecticut, and Massachusetts attempts to force EPA across the limit of their jurisdiction into regulation of carbon dioxide.  “Boiled down to its essence, the lawsuit asserts that the Clean Air Act compels EPA to implement the Kyoto Protocol, a non-ratified treaty,” continued Lewis.  “That is nonsense, and EPA is to be congratulated for disavowing it.”