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Press Release

    Eight States, New York City Sue Power Companies Over Pollution

    07/20/2004

    Excerpts from the Associated Press

    “Eight states and New York City will sue to force five of the country's largest power producers to cut carbon dioxide emissions and curb global warming, according to a draft statement obtained by The Associated Press.

    Attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin, along with New York City's corporation counsel, will file the public nuisance suit Wednesday in federal district court in Manhattan, the statement said.

    The targeted companies own 174 fossil fuel-burning power plants that produce 646 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, about 10 percent of the nation's total, according to the July 16 document. They are: American Electric Power Co., Southern Co., Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy Inc., Cinergy Corp. and the federal Tennessee Valley Authority.”

    […]

    “Scott Segal, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, a group that includes Atlanta-based Southern, said the lawsuit is frivolous.

    ‘If you gave the facts of global climate change to a first-year law student, and they recommended a public nuisance case, they would get an 'F,"’ Segal said. ‘The idea that any one company's emissions are responsible for global climate change is more political science than environmental science.’

    Jeffrey Marks, with the National Association of Manufacturers, which represents AEP, Cincinnati-based Cinergy and Southern, said in an e-mail that regulating carbon dioxide emissions would severely depress the U.S. economy, limit the use of fossil fuels, and hinder environmental improvements.”