Global Warming Court Cases
Case Issue Status
Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. EPA, 05-1120, Supreme Court EPA's decision to not regulate CO2 emissions from motor vehicles Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of Massachusetts on April 2, 2007, directing EPA to consider regulating CO2 emissions from motor vehicles. EPA re-examining environmental groups’ original petition and also at work on new emission regulations, with proposal expected by end of 2007. Click here to read the decision.
Center for Biological Diversity et al. v. Brennan et al., 4:06-cv-07062-SBA, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Lawsuit alleges federal government has violated the Global Change Research Act of 1990 by failing to produce a second national climate assessment. On Aug. 21, 2007, Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong ordered the administration to publish a new draft climate research plan for public comment by March 1, 2008, and submit a final version to Congress within 90 days after that date. A new scientific assessment is due by May 31, 2008. Armstrong has retained jurisdiction to oversee enforcement of the decision. Click here to read the judge's decision.
New York/Open Spaces Coalition v. TVA/Cinergy/AEP/Southern Company and XCel Energy Inc., 05-5104, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Lawsuit alleges the companies are creating a public nuisance with their greenhouse gas emissions. Pending before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City. Oral arguments held June 7, 2006. A federal district court dismissed the case in September 2005. Click here to read the ruling.
California v. General Motors, 3:06-cv-05755-MJJ, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Lawsuit alleges the "Big Six" auto companies are creating a public nuisance with their greenhouse gas emissions. The state is demanding financial payment, as opposed to emission reductions. Judge Martin Jenkins of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District accepted the auto industry’s arguments and dismissed the case on Sept. 17. California AG weighing an appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
New York v. EPA, 06-1148/Coke Oven Environmental Task Force v. EPA, 06-1131, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Two consolidated lawsuits alleging EPA in February 2005 failed to regulate carbon dioxide from new coal-fired power plants and industrial boilers. Suit filed in April 2006. Due to Massachusetts v. EPA, remand expected to EPA.
Central Valley Chrysler-Jeep Inc. v. Catherine Witherspoon, CV-F-04-6663, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California California Air Resources Board's regulation to limit automobile carbon dioxide emissions. Hearing in late October scheduled on the implications from the Massachusetts v. EPA on the case.
Friends of the Earth v. Robert Mosbacher Jr. (Overseas Private Investment Corp. and the Export-Import Bank), 02-4106, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Lawsuit alleges the agencies are violating the National Environmental Policy Act because the energy-intensive projects they help fund haven't been assessed for their heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions. Judge Jeffrey White, an appointee of President Bush, rejected the administration’s motion to dismiss the case in February.
Montana Environmental Information Center and Environmental Defense Inc. v. EPA, 06-1059, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Environmentalists appealing a December 2005 memo that says the Clean Air Act does not mandate new power plant owners weigh construction of a coal gasification plant. Case settled in Oct. 2006. EPA agreed to take off the books any reference the nearly year-old letter to an industry consultant that proclaimed power plant builders do not need to consider what some think is the most advanced pollution control technology available.
Comer v. Murphy Oil, 1:05-cv-00436-LG-RHW, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi Hurricane Katrina victims are suing major oil,coal and electric utility companies, claiming their emissions are a public nuisance that strengthened the summer of 2005 storm. Judge Louis Guirola dismissed the case on Aug. 30.
Korsinsky v. U.S. EPA, 1:05-cv-00859-NRB, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York A New York City resident sued EPA, New York state and New York City for creating a public nuisance with their greenhouse gas emissions. Case dismissed September 2005 after district court found plaintiff lacked standing. Plaintiff has appealed to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Last updated: Sept. 19, 2007