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Environmental Law

2nd Circuit Reinstates Global Warming Suits Against Power Companies

Posted Sep 22, 2009 11:54 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A federal appeals court has reinstated lawsuits by eight states and others claiming power companies’ carbon-dioxide emissions are contributing to global warming.

The public nuisance suits seek caps on emissions, the New York Times reports. A two-judge panel decided the case after the third judge, Sonia Sotomayor, was confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The ruling by the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said there was no need for the courts to defer to Congress, the New York Law Journal reports. A trial judge had found the nuisance suit was nonjusticiable under the political questions doctrine.

The suits were brought by New York City, three land trusts, and the states of California, Connecticut, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin.

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