California Sues EPA Over Waiver Denial:

California filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency challenging the EPA's denial of a waiver of preemption under the Clean Air Act for the state's greenhouse gas emission regulations. Here's coverage in the Washington Post and New York Times.

One interesting aspect of the suit, discussed here on the Warming Law Blog, is that California filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, rather than in the D.C. Circuit. Most assume the Ninth Circuit would be more receptive to California's arguments, but most also assumed the suit would be filed in D.C., so what gives? According to the Sacremento Bee:

Generally, decisions by federal agencies must be challenged in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, which tends to be more conservative than the 9th Circuit.

But lawyers backing California argue the state isn't constrained to file in Washington, D.C., because the Dec. 19 ruling left out key language stating that the decision was "of national scope and impact."

"They did not put that boilerplate in, so we can challenge it anywhere," said attorney David Bookbinder of the Sierra Club, which has worked with the state to defend the emissions law.

Was this a deliberate choice by the EPA or an oversight? A third option: EPA legal staff working who drafted the Administrator's letter to EPA knowingly left it out, and none of the political appointees caught it. In any event, seeing this suit in the Ninth adds an interesting twist.