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E-M:/ FW: Emergency Action Filed to Stop Illegal Bush Admin Effort to Block Action on Warming

Enviro-Mich message from "Rita Jack" <rita.jack@sierraclub.org>


CONTACT: Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384
         David Willett, 202.675.6698

                            Bush's Last Stand:
 Sierra Club Moves to Stop Administration's Final, Illegal Effort to Block
                         Action on Global Warming

Washington, D.C.-The Sierra Club is filing suit today in the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in order to overturn the Bush administration's
final, unlawful effort to block meaningful action on global warming.  The
emergency legal action is a response to a memo signed by EPA Administrator
Johnson designed to codify an incorrect and unlawful interpretation of
environmental laws-including the Clean Air Act-in an attempt pave the way
for the improper approval of dozens of coal-fired power plants in states
across the country.

In the wake of the EPA Environmental Appeals Board's (EAB) landmark
decision in the Bonanza case last November that required new coal-fired
power plants to address their global warming emissions, the Bush EPA is
rushing to protect polluters.  Today's legal action is necessary to protect
the integrity of the permitting process and the Clean Air Act itself and to
prevent permits from being issued that could result in tens of millions of
tons of additional global warming pollution each year.

"EPA Administrator Steve Johnson has acted in brazen defiance our nation's
highest court, Congress, his own staff and the law for years," said David
Bookbinder, Sierra Club's Chief Climate Counsel.  "In a new twist, he is
now openly and unlawfully ignoring EPA's own judges in order to protect
polluters in the waning days of a dangerously irrelevant administration.
We have already lost eight precious years in the fight against global
warming and now Johnson and the Bush administration are trying to stand in
the way of the next administration. We can't let that happen."

In an unlawful attempt to overturn the EAB decision, EPA Administrator
Stephen Johnson issued a memo on December 18, 2008 repudiating the impact
of the decision.  The memo was subsequently published in the Federal
Register on December 31, 2008.

"After almost two years of ignoring the Supreme Court, we did not expect
them to give up even in the wake of yet another landmark decision requiring
them to act on global warming," said Bookbinder.  "Nevertheless, this
desperate administration has now gone to unprecedented lengths to protect
polluters and, sadly, this last emergency action is required to stop them."

The Bonanza decision had eviscerated every rationale put forward by the
Bush EPA as to why the agency could not require CO2 emissions limits on new
coal-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act, and paved the way for the
incoming Obama Administration to make such requirements.  The Johnson Memo
simply repeats those same, discredited rationales, and because it tries to
establish a new and "binding" interpretation of the Clean Air Act by
administrative fiat, it violates the procedural requirements of the
Administrative Procedures Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Bonanza decision


For information on the Bonanza case, please visit:

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