Cap-and-Trade Bill, Not Capping Litigation

From today’s Washington Times, an exclusive, “Climate bill could trigger lawsuit landslide“:

Self-proclaimed victims of global warming or those who “expect to suffer” from it – from beachfront property owners to asthmatics – for the first time would be able to sue the federal government or private businesses over greenhouse gas emissions under a little-noticed provision slipped into the House climate bill.

Good for the Washington Times for taking the time to read the 648-page “draft discussion,” that is, legislation, and for taking seriously its radical, society-changing proposals. (Draft is available here.)

The sue-for-cash provision the Times reports on is surely just the tip of the litigation iceberg. We’ve been watching legislative efforts to expand the authority of state attorneys general to enforce federal laws, and so searched through the cap-and-subjugate bill for any references to AGs. And the first one we found is on page 250:

FORCEMENT.-Section 334 of the Energy Policy and Con-
servation Act (42 U.S.C. 6304(a)) is amended to read as
‘‘(a) JURISDICTION.-The United States district
courts shall have jurisdiction to restrain-
‘‘(1) any violation of section 332; and
‘‘(2) any person from distributing in commerce
any covered product which does not comply with an
applicable rule under section 324 or 325.
‘‘(b) AUTHORITY.-Any action referred to in sub
section (a) shall be brought by the Commission or by the
attorney general of a State in the name of the State


The sections of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act deal with energy-conserving appliances and their labeling, laws currently regulated and enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. Under the proposed Waxman-Markey cap-and-subjugate legislation, state attorneys general will also gain authority to enforce the law — a guarantee of inconsistent application and, if history is any guide, abuse by grandstanding AGs who want to appear tough on climate criminals.

That’s the first look we’ve taken at the bill. Bet there are many, many other provisions expanding the litigation state.

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