California AG Urges EPA to Curb Greenhouse Gases From Ocean-Going Vessels

Citing the "threat of global climate disruption," California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. joined three national environmental organizations on Oct. 2 in petitioning EPA to adopt strict greenhouse gas regulations for ocean-going vessels. The petition asks the EPA to make specific findings that ships significantly contribute to global warming.

At a news conference at the attorney general'?s headquarters in Los Angeles, Brown said: "EPA has the authority to curb greenhouse gas emissions and our petition today asks the agency to exercise that authority without delay."

Ocean-going vessels, in total, emit more CO2 emissions than any nation in the world except the United States, Russia, China, Japan, India and Germany. Ominously, these emissions are projected to increase nearly 75 percent during the next 20 years, the attorney general's office stated.

"International law guarantees a right of 'innocent passage' for all ocean-going vessels, but this right does not include polluting the air or water near our coastal cities," Brown said. "If the Unites States is to do its part in reducing the threat of global climate disruption, then EPA must limit the global warming emissions from ships that enter the ports of the United States."

Under the federal Clean Air Act, California has the authority to file a petition asking the EPA to establish CO2 emissions standards. The petition can be found in PDF format at http://ag.ca.gov/cms_pdfs/press/N1474_Petition.pdf.

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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