The lawyer added: “Virtually every entity and industry in the world is responsible for some emissions of carbon dioxide and is thus a potential defendant in climate change nuisance actions under the theory of this case.”
In a brief filed on behalf of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Obama administration said that Congress had empowered the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate emissions from power plants through the Clean Air Act. The brief said the EPA has taken “several actions” under the CAA to address greenhouse gas emissions.
The EPA has adopted greenhouse gas emission standards for certain motor vehicles and is currently “evaluating whether and how to add greenhouse gases to the new source performance standards that apply to power plants,” the brief said.
The states that filed the lawsuit are New York, Connecticut, California, Iowa, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. A similar suit was filed by the Open Space Institute, the Open Space Conservancy, and the Audubon Society of New Hampshire. Both suits have been consolidated.