Vermont joins efforts to fight greenhouse emissions
March 17, 2011 - MONTPELIER – Gov. Peter Shumlin announced today that Vermont has joined other states in filing two motions in support of the federal government’s efforts to address greenhouse gas emissions, as well as two appellate briefs defending state authority to address the harm from climate change and air pollution caused by coal-fired power plants.
“I am committed to aggressively fighting interstate air pollution and climate change,” the Governor said. “Vermont has joined with other states in battling emissions from coal-fired power plants, and will make this effort to make the fight against pollution from mid-west power plants a top priority.”
The Governor said this state – and this nation – cannot continue to debate the reality of climate change; that issue is not only decided by scientific consensus, but clearly evident in our day-to-day lives.
“Coal-fired power plants in the Midwest are significant emitters of carbon dioxide, which is the primary greenhouse gas contributing to climate change,” Gov. Shumlin said. “Climate impacts in Vermont include the loss of our hardwood trees including Sugar Maples, the spread of insect pests impacting our forests, waters and public health, and increased soil erosion.”
The legal actions are:
• In two lawsuits, including one on February 28, 2011, Vermont and eight other states and New York City moved to intervene in support of EPA’s decision to adopt mandatory greenhouse gas reporting requirements for emissions of greenhouse gases from petroleum and natural gas systems and emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases.
• On March 7, 2011, Vermont and thirteen other states joined in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the State of North Carolina in its efforts to hold the Tennessee Valley Authority accountable for the damage from air pollution caused by coal-fired power plants located in other southern states.
• On March 11, 2011, Vermont, along with five other states and New York City, filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the long-running lawsuit filed by those same states against electric power corporations that are the top five carbon dioxide emitters in the United States.
• In addition, the state has consistently been a leader in adopting and defending stringent emission standards for automobiles; joined with other Northeast states to petition EPA to take stronger actions to reduce mercury emissions from mid-west coal-fired power plants; joined with other states in support of EPA’s greenhouse gas emissions standards for motor vehicles; and joined with other states in support of EPA’s endangerment finding for greenhouse gases.