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Global Warming: The Ultimate Public Nuisance

March 2009

Citation: 39 ELR 10230

Issue: 3

Author: Matthew F. Pawa

Editors' Summary:

In 2004, eight states filed suit against five major U.S. electric power companies. Together, these companies contribute 25% of the United States' total carbon dioxide emissions. The states' complaint, based on the common law of public nuisance, alleged that global warming poses threats of severe harm to human health from increased heat and air pollution. With the case now on appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the legal community waits for insight into the effectiveness of using common law public nuisance to combat global warming.

Matthew F. Pawa is president of the Law Offices of Matthew F. Pawa, P.C.

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