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State of Wisconsin - Department of Justice Home Page
Global Warming Lawsuit Information:

Complaint With Exhibits [PDF]
Defendant Information Sheet [PDF]
1000 Years of Global CO2 and Temperature Change [PDF]
Past and Future CO2 Atmospheric Concentrations [PDF]
Variations of Earth Surface Temperatures 1000-2100 [PDF]

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Environmental Media Service

Source: Eight States and New York City
Posted by: website editor - archive
Posted on: Jul 21, 2004 @ 3:01 pm


California Attorney General Bill Lockyer
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller
New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey
New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer
New York City Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo
Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch
Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell
Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager

Eight States & NYC Sue Top Five U.S. Global Warming Polluters

Landmark Suit Seeks Dramatic Carbon Dioxide Emission Reductions from 
Power Plants

The states of California, Connecticut, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, 
Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin, along with the City of New York, 
filed suit today against the five largest global warming polluters in 
the United States. It is the first time state and local governments 
have sued private companies to require reductions in the 
heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions that scientists say pose 
serious threats to our health, economy and environment.

Companies sued in this action include: American Electric Power 
Company; the Southern Company; Tennessee Valley Authority; Xcel 
Energy Inc.; and Cinergy Corporation. Together, they own or operate 
174 fossil fuel burning power plants in 20 states that emit some 650 
million tons of carbon dioxide each year - almost a quarter of the 
U.S. utility industry's annual carbon dioxide emissions and about 10 
percent of the nation's total. The action calls on the companies to 
reduce their pollution, and does not seek monetary damages.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said: "Our lawsuit is 
a huge, historic first step toward holding companies accountable for 
these pernicious pollutants that threaten our health, economy, 
environment and quality of life now and increasingly in the future. 
The eventual effects of CO2 pollution will be severe and significant 
- increasing asthma and heat-related illnesses, eroding shorelines, 
floods, and other natural disasters, loss of forests and other 
precious resources. We must act, wisely and quickly, to stem global 
warming - and safeguard both our environment and economy. Time is not 
on our side."

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said: "This lawsuit opens a 
new legal frontier in the fight against global warming - a challenge 
that poses a serious threat to our environment, our natural 
resources, our public health and safety, and our economy. A 
head-in-the-sand response is not an option. For the sake of our 
people and their future, we must act now. And requiring these major 
polluters to do their part is crucial to fighting the threat 

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said: "Global warming threatens Iowa 
as we know it today. The Earth is heating faster than at any time in 
history, and that poses enormous risk to Iowa agriculture and Iowans' 
health. The problem is pollution, and the top source of pollution is 
carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The good news is we can 
tackle this and try to turn it around, and that's what our lawsuit is 
all about. We must act now to protect the beautiful and bountiful 
Iowa we know today, for our children and grandchildren, and 
generations to come."

New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey said: "Carbon dioxide 
pollution and global warming pose a real and serious threat to our 
health, our environment and our future. To protect our residents and 
our natural resources, we're suing the power companies responsible 
for the most carbon dioxide pollution, demanding that they make 
pollution reductions that are substantial and readily achievable. New 
Jersey is particularly vulnerable to rising temperatures and sea 
levels due to the intense heat waves that already threaten the health 
of our susceptible residents and the ongoing erosion of the low-lying 
barrier islands that line our coast. If these companies will not act 
voluntarily, then we will compel them through court action."

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said: "Global warming 
threatens our health, our economy, our natural resources and our 
children's future. There is no dispute that global warming is upon us 
and that these defendants' carbon dioxide pollution is a major 
contributor. Others are taking action to reduce emissions and these 
companies could also do so by building cleaner energy sources. Under 
accepted and unambiguous law, a court can order them to reduce their 
emissions. We believe a court should do so and will do so."

New York City Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo said: "The City of 
New York has joined this action out of concern for the impacts that 
global warming will have on the City and its residents and as part of 
the Bloomberg Administration's commitment to maintaining a clean and 
sustainable New York."

Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch said: "In filing this 
lawsuit, we take necessary steps to stem the rising tide of 
pollutants causing immeasurable harm to our environment and to 
maximize our ability to ensure that ensuing generations inherit a 
sustainable earth. It's imperative that we confront those responsible 
for unleashing an invader with the power to wreak unspeakable havoc 
on our climate and to damage, and destroy, our ecosystems."

Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell said: "Global warming is 
a big problem that is only going to get bigger. The question is: what 
are we going to do about it. This suit against the five top producers 
of CO2 gasses in the United States is an important step toward 
confronting this major environmental challenge."

Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager said: "The overwhelming 
scientific evidence now concludes that unabated, the aggravation of 
global warming by continued carbon dioxide pollution threatens 
Wisconsin with increased ozone and respiratory illness, more 
heat-related deaths and ailments, debilitated winter sports and 
tourist economy, reduced natural fishery stocks, decimated forests, 
lowered water levels in our Great Lakes that threaten our 
shipping-dependent industries and intensified catastrophic droughts, 
storms and floods -- all accompanied by their attendant human, and 
economic costs. Our lawsuit simply demands that these five worst 
polluters feasibly, economically, and flexibly abate their fair share 
of these greenhouse gas emissions, and employ already available 
options for doing so. If others in the industry can already meet 
these goals, these industry giants should do the same."

The case was filed today in federal district court in New York under 
the federal common law of public nuisance, which provides a right of 
action to curb air and water pollution emanating from sources in 
other states. Public nuisance is a well-established legal doctrine 
that is commonly invoked in environmental cases and forms the basis 
for much of today's modern environmental law. The defendant 
companies' emissions contribute to a harm borne by all members of the 
public. The states as sovereign governments and the City of New York 
have the right to protect their residents and properties from such 
widespread harm.

Plaintiffs are bringing suit because global warming is a serious 
threat to communities and the environment in the states. These 
impacts will become increasingly severe if emissions are not reduced. 
Damages from global warming include more asthma and other respiratory 
disease; increased heatstroke and heat-related mortality; loss of 
beaches, tidal wetlands, salt marshes, coastal property, fisheries 
and costly impacts to coastal and urban infrastructure (tunnels, 
subways, water treatment plants, and airport facilities) due to 
rising sea levels; loss of mountain snowpack, a major fresh water 
source in California; property damage and human safety risks due to 
drought and floods; loss of Northeast hardwood forests; and 
widespread harm to wildlife.

A report prepared by the National Academy of Sciences at the request 
of President Bush in 2001 reaffirmed widespread consensus that carbon 
dioxide and other heat-trapping emissions are responsible for the 
problem. Experts say that if nothing is done to cut emissions, 
average global temperatures will rise between 3 and 10 degrees 
Fahrenheit by the end of the century. By comparison, the difference 
in global average temperature between now and the last ice age was 
only 7-11 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scientists say the Earth is warming faster today than at any time in 
human history, and more rapidly than any natural factors can explain. 
The most recent data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration show that 2003 tied 2002 as the second hottest year on 
record, following 1998. The five hottest years all have occurred 
since 1997 and the 10 hottest since 1990.

Readily available solutions to reduce carbon dioxide pollution 
include increased efficiency of coal-burning plants; switching from 
coal to cleaner-burning fuels; greater use of biomass energy derived 
from plants; investment in energy conservation; and use of clean 
energy sources like wind and solar power. Clean coal technologies 
also are emerging that allow carbon dioxide to be removed from 
coal-fired power plant smokestacks.

Federal studies indicate that electric power producers, the largest 
global warming polluters, present the best opportunity for 
significant and cost-effective reductions of carbon dioxide 
pollution. Scientists say that since carbon dioxide accumulates in 
the atmosphere, the longer the delay before significant cuts are 
made, the sharper and deeper they will need to be.


California - Tom Dresslar (916) 324-5500
Connecticut - Christopher Hoffman (860) 808-5324
Iowa - Bob Brammer (515) 281-6699
New Jersey - Peter Aseltine (609) 292-4791
New York - Marc Violette (518) 473-5525
New York City - Kate O'Brien Ahlers (212) 788-0400
Rhode Island - Mike Healey (401) 274-4400 ext. 2234
Vermont - Erick Titrud (802) 828-5518
Wisconsin - Brian Rieselman (608) 266-7876


America's Top Five Global Warming Polluters:
(By Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Company-Owned or Operated Power Plants)

#1: American Electric Power Company, Inc. (AEP)/American Electric 
Power Service Corp.

Estimated annual CO2 Emissions: 226 million tons.
2003 Reported Revenue: $15.6 billion.

AEP controls 12 utility companies including Appalachian Power, 
Columbus Southern Power, Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, 
Kingsport Power, Ohio Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, 
Southwestern Electric Power, AEP Texas Central, AEP Texas North, 
Wheeling Power and AEP Generating. AEP owns or operates fossil 
fuel-fired power plants in 11 states including Arkansas, Indiana, 
Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, 
Virginia and West Virginia.

#2: The Southern Company (SO)

Estimated annual CO2 Emissions: 171 million tons.
2003 Reported Revenue: $11.28 billion.

The Southern Company controls five utility companies, including 
Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and 
Savannah Electric and Power. Southern owns or operates fossil 
fuel-fired power plants in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Georgia.

#3: Tennessee Valley Authority

Estimated annual CO2 Emissions: 110 million tons.
2003 Reported Revenue: $6.95 billion.

TVA is a federal corporation that owns and operates fossil fuel-fired 
power plants in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, and Mississippi.

#4: Xcel Energy Inc. (XEL)

Estimated annual CO2 Emissions: 75 million tons.
2003 Reported Revenue: $7.9 billion.

Xcel controls five utility companies, including Northern States Power 
of Minnesota; Northern States Power of Wisconsin; Public Service 
Company of Colorado; and Southwestern Public Service. Xcel owns or 
operates fossil fuel-fired power plants in Colorado, Minnesota, New 
Mexico, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin.

#5: Cinergy Corp. (CIN)

Estimated annual CO2 Emissions: 70 million tons;
2003 Reported Revenue: $4.4 billion.

Cinergy controls the Cincinnati Gas & Electric and PSI Energy, Inc. 
Cinergy owns or operates fossil fuel-fired power plants in Ohio, 
Kentucky and Indiana.

EMISSIONS DATA SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency eGrid 
database for year 2000 emissions.


--- original message ---

>For Immediate Release For More Information Contact:
>July 20, 2004 Brian Rieselman 608/266-7876
>Notice of News Conference
>Multiple News Events to be Held by Attorneys General on
>Wednesday, July 21, 2004
>MADISON -- Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager announced today she
>will hold a news conference with Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller to
>announce the filing of a major new lawsuit to curb global warming in
>the United States
>3:00 p.m.
>Wednesday, July 21, 2004
>Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory -
>Floral Dome
>524 South Layton Blvd.
>Lautenschlager and Miller are making this announcement in conjunction
>with the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, New Jersey,
>New York, Rhode Island and Vermont, and with the City of New York.
># # #
>Yahoo! Groups Links


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