A New York state court on Wednesday dismissed a Tea Party-backed lawsuit that tried to block the state from participating in a cap-and-trade system to cut carbon emissions in the Northeast, finding that the plaintiffs had no grounds to challenge the program.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who represented New York in the case, argued that they lacked a credible reason to challenge the state’s participation in the program.
He also said the plaintiffs took too long to file their suit – nearly three years after New York began implementing the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in late 2008.
Under RGGI, nine member states have agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions in their electricity sectors by 10 percent by 2018 by participating in a carbon market in which they can buy, sell or trade carbon emission rights.
Two New York-based business executives filed the suit last June, arguing that former Governor George Pataki, a Republican, signed on to RGGI without the support of the state legislature in 2005.
They were backed by two groups who actively opposed federal legislation to create a national cap-and-trade scheme – the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Americans for Prosperity.