NYC, Eight States Sue Utilities Over Emissions

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Five big U.S. power companies were sued for creating a public nuisance on Wednesday, accused by eight states and the city of New York of being the largest global-warming polluters in the country.

The lawsuit — the first by state and local governments against private companies over carbon dioxide emissions blamed for contributing to global warming — demands cuts in pollution but does not seek monetary damages, the group said at a news conference.

The companies named in the suit were No. 1 U.S. power producer American Electric Power Co. Inc., Southeast utility Southern Co., the Tennessee Valley Authority public power system and Midwestern power companies Xcel Energy Inc. and Cinergy Corp.

The lawsuit accuses the five companies’ power plants of being responsible for almost a quarter of the U.S. utility industry’s annual carbon-dioxide emissions and about 10 percent of the country’s total.

The power companies being sued said they are striving to cut emissions and had programs in place to cut even more.

The group of attorneys general filing the suit include New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who in the past has sued utilities running coal-fired plants and accused President Bush’s administration of not enforcing clean air regulations.

Reuters | NYC, Eight States Sue Utilities Over Emissions

via Mike Millikin / Green Car Congress