Challenge to New York’s Participation in RGGI Dismissed

June 20, 2012

An attempt to disrupt New York's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which caps carbon pollution from the power sector in the northeastern U.S., was dismissed by the Albany County Supreme Court on June 13, 2012.

The lawsuit (Thrun v. Cuomo, Index No. 4368-11 (N.Y. Supreme Court Albany County, 2012)) was filed by three state residents who argued the program was effectively a coercive tax on electricity levied without the approval of the state legislature, in violation of the state constitution.  The court found that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue because they did not face an injury that could be distinguished from effects of the program on the general public.  The court also found that the case was barred due to the “unreasonable delay” between 2008, when New York implemented its RGGI regulations, and 2011, when the suit was filed.