The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York has ruled that eight states — California, Connecticut, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin — as well as New York City and three land trusts can proceed with a suit against American Electric Power, Southern Corporation, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Xcel Energy and Cinergy Corporation for environmental damage caused by CO2 emissions. The decision overturns an earlier ruling by a District Court in 2005, and certainly adds a new dimen sion to the CO2 debate in the US.
An AEP spokesman indicated that the company had not yet decided if it would appeal, and mentioned that his company still believes that Congress, rather than the courts, is the only reasonably way for the US to cut GHG emissions.
At the Natural Resources Defense Council, which was not party to the suit, senior lawyer David Doniger agreed that the best way to fight global warming was through Congress. But he added, “The court’s decision guarantees that if the Congress fails to do its job, or blocks the EPA from doing its job, the biggest power companies will still be held accountable in the federal courts.”
Editor’s Note: Cinergy is now part of Duke Energy. (Source: New York Times, September 21, 2009)
Contact: Paul A. Johnson, Managing Director, Investor Relations, Xcel Energy, (612) 215-4535, Paul.A.Johnson@xcelenergy.com, xcelenergy.com; Tammy Ridout, Corporate Media Relations, AEP, (614) 716-2347, www.aep.com; John Moulton, Senior Manager, Media, Tennessee Valley Authority, (865) 632-8048, email@example.com, www.tva.com; Cathy Roche, (704) 373-4860, Senior VP, Chief Communications Officer, Duke Energy, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.duke-energy.com