The Portland Press Herald reports that Maine, along with 11 other states and a variety of environmental groups, will soon be arguing in front of the Supreme Court that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must regulate the emissions of carbon dioxide from cars to help fight global warming.
Those against this approach include the federal government, automakers, the American Forest and Paper Association, the American Chemistry Council and the National Association of Manufacturers. Their argument is "no matter how serious a concern global climate change may be, that concern does not justify trying to shoehorn global climate change into a regulatory structure designed and enacted by Congress to address different types of problems."
Rather than try to fix the problem with whatever tools that we have available - in this case the Clean Air Act - they think that we should not do anything at all.
The unfortunate point that this important lawsuit makes all too clear is that there continues to be no leadership on climate change from Washington D.C. Luckily, the leadership is coming from the state and local levels. Rather than leading us to a path of hope and action, the White House and Congress continue to tell us why nothing can be done. It would be interesting to see how much progress the state and local leaders could make with help from Washington D.C.
With a new Democratic majority in Congress, let's hope that this leadership vacuum at the federal level is filled and that real solutions to the challenges of climate change are in our future. In the meantime, we will have to continue to do all that we can at the state and local levels.
For more information about this lawsuit, see the Massachusetts' Attorney General's website.