Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/09/19/global_warming_political/

Judge declares global warming too political for US courts

A real hot potato

By Lucy Sherriff

Posted in Science, 19th September 2005 09:56 GMT

A federal judge in New York has deemed the questions raised by a global warming lawsuit to be too political for the judiciary to deal with.

The suit, brought by eight states and the city of New York, asked for the courts to force five utilities companies to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.

The five companies - American Electric Power, Southern, Xcel Energy, Cinergy, and the Tennessee Valley Authority public power system - are some of the largest carbon dioxide emitters in the US, Reuters reports.

However, Judge Loretta Preska of the US District Court for the Southern District, dismissed the suit, saying that the questions raised should be handled by elected representatives of the people, namely Congress and the President:

"Were judges to resolve political questions, there would be no check on their resolutions because the Judiciary is not accountable to any other branch or to the people," she wrote.

Connecticut and New York have already said that they will appeal the ruling, arguing that it undermines their ability to hold out-of-state polluters accountable.

"Carbon dioxide pollution endangers public health and the environment, just as other harmful emissions. These companies must be held accountable and forced to clean up," Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said. ®