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State Attorneys General to Seek Stricter Federal Emissions Laws

July 17, 2002

Signaling the states may take an increasingly activist stance on global warming, 11 state attorneys general sent a letter to PresidentBush July 17 urging more federal actions to limit so-called greenhouse-gas emissions, according to a Wall Street Journal story by Russell Gold.The letter warned that if the federal government doesn't take steps to stem emissions, states will rush to fill this "regulatory void." At the least, this could create a complex range of state regulatory efforts that would heighten uncertainty and complexity for businesses, according to the Journal. At the most,the states signaled they are reviewing possible litigation."There is a consensus now ... the earth is heating up," Massachusetts Attorney GeneralThomas F. Reilly said. "This is serious enough that it requires federal action. We are hoping that frankly they come to their senses."In an interview with the Journal, Reilly declined to elaborate on what litigation is planned if the Bush administration doesn't respond.In addition to Reilly, the attorneys general from the rest of New England as well as Alaska, California, Maryland, New Jersey and New York signed the letter. All are Democrats, except for New Jersey Attorney General David Samson, who is unaffiliated.The Bush administration in June proposed voluntary ways for industry to cut down on greenhouse-gas emissions. A White House spokesman said mandatory reductions would cause severe economic damage by driving up electricityprices.
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