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July 20, 2004

U.S. Chamber Calls Global Warming Lawsuit an End-Run Around Congress and Regulatory Agencies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Chamber of Commerce condemned a complaint filed today in federal district court by several state attorneys general and the New York City Office of Corporation Counsel and called the action an attempt to circumvent Congress and federal and state regulatory agencies in setting U.S. policy.

“This is a blatant ‘end-run’ around the Congress and federal and state regulatory agencies,” said Thomas Donohue, Chamber President and CEO. “Our country’s energy and environmental policies should be made by elected officials, not lawyers and judges in a courtroom.”

The lawsuit, filed against five energy companies, alleges the companies contribute to global warming and seeks a court-ordered mandate for the companies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions over the next ten years.

“This complaint is symptomatic of America’s legal crisis and yet another example of unwarranted litigation that hurts American consumers and destroys jobs,” concluded Donohue.

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have designated a plethora of substances as pollutants, and carbon dioxide – a naturally occurring part of the atmosphere – has never been designated as such.

The mission of the Institute for Legal Reform is to make America’s legal system simpler, fairer and faster for everyone. It seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial and educational activities at the national, state and local levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.

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