The gas and chemicals industry is going to have its day in court.
On Tuesday, a federal judge in Manhattan will decide whether to dismiss the suit filed by a coalition of New York City and Pennsylvania municipalities and industries, and the Environmental Protection Agency, against the nation’s largest producer of petroleum products.
The suit alleges that the EPA violated the Clean Air Act and its rules on air quality by failing to require gas and oil refineries to stop polluting the air and causing a deadly spike in respiratory illnesses.
The groups have argued that EPA rules on emissions and air quality are a necessary part of the nations plan to meet the Paris climate agreement.
In the meantime, the gas and chemical industry will continue to use its billions of dollars in lobbying dollars to try to block the EPA rules, said Andrew Rosenberg, an attorney for the groups.
“It is time for the industry to go to court and fight it, not to try and pass them off as necessary environmental protections,” Rosenberg said.
“That is the way it has been done for decades.
The EPA and other agencies are responsible for ensuring the safety of Americans, and they have no business putting their jobs and livelihoods at risk.”
The lawsuits, filed in February, claim the EPA and the Energy Department are using an outdated formula for the carbon dioxide that fuels gasoline and diesel, to help the industry produce the gasoline and other products that consumers buy in the U.S. The formula uses carbon dioxide, methane, and other pollutants in an outdated way that makes it impossible for the EPA to regulate them effectively.
“The formula is outdated and it doesn’t work,” said James Lasko, an energy attorney for plaintiffs.
“And they’re using it as a way to avoid paying for air pollution control.
They’re not being truthful about what they’re doing.”
As a result, the EPA has allowed refineries in the Northeast to use up to three times as much gasoline and two times as many diesel as they would be able to under the new formula.
The industry has also said it is responsible for releasing more pollutants into the air than it was before the rules were put in place, and that the pollution has caused the deaths of hundreds of people.
The litigation was brought by the National Association of Manufacturers, which represents companies like BP, ExxonMobil, and Shell, among others.
The plaintiffs are seeking to require the EPA, which has issued hundreds of millions of dollars worth of pollution limits since 1990, to take additional action on pollution.
The group also wants the EPA not to use the formula to set emissions limits for other pollutants, like methane and nitrogen oxide.
“We will continue our fight against this toxic waste industry,” said William Cogan, the president of the National Manufacturers Council, the group representing the manufacturers in the litigation.
“EPA and the administration are taking a dangerous path by ignoring the threat of climate change, and we will continue that fight to ensure the American people have the information they need to make informed decisions about their energy choices.”
A spokesperson for the Trump administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.