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Potential EPA ‘sue and settle’ lawsuit could mean new greenhouse regulations

One example of “sue and settle” is in regards to the EPA’s Utility MACT rule for coal and oil-fired electric generators for which the agency entered into a consent decree in 2010 with environmental plaintiffs, requiring the agency to issue such standards.

“Congress has saddled no other federal agency with such a burdensome and irrational regime, and it is time for Congress to put EPA back on a par with other agencies in this regard,” said Stoll.

However, there is a chance EPA may not want to settle and decide to fight this case, said Stoll, but it’s unclear what the agency’s course of action will be.

The EPA did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

The states signing the letter to the EPA were among the most affected by Superstorm Sandy, which they argue was linked to methane from the oil and gas industry.

“From severe droughts and heat waves to a string of devastating storms in the northeast over the last two years, it is becoming ever more apparent that increasing greenhouse gas pollution contributes to climate disruption in the U.S. and around the globe,” wrote the state attorneys general from New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Maryland, Rhode Island and Delaware.

Reuters reports that the EPA published its final rules for pollutants in the oil and gas industry in August 2012, but did not include rules for methane, saying they would continue to evaluate the appropriateness of regulating methane.

“While it is clear that methane from oil and natural gas development contributes substantially to climate change pollution, regulators have failed to require the industry to use available and cost-effective measures to control these emissions,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the leading AG office in among the states in the lawsuit.

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