Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli joined a lawsuit in Texas that aims to stop the federal government from cutting greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles.
The lawsuit, filed last week by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, argues the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hastily adopted the so-called "tailpipe" regulations, set to take effect in 2016. It also states that the EPA lacks the authority to enact the regulations.
The lawsuit, which is backed by eight other states and numerous trucking and manufacturers' associations, would create "one of the most expansive and onerous regulatory programs" in the history of the U.S., the lawsuit states.
Boosters say the regulations will help curb global warming and its effects, such as sea level rise. They also argue the regulations will help clean the nation's air and waterways.
"Too many of Virginia's rivers and lakes already exceed safe mercury levels and nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury," Gerald Gray, a member of Trout Unlimited who lives in Dickenson County, said in a statement issued Thursday.
Trout Unlimited is one of 300 hunting, fishing and wildlife groups nationwide to sign a letter calling on Congress to enforce the tailpipe regulations under the Clean Air Act.
The automotive industry is the latest to come in the crosshairs of the Obama Administration, which has targeted cement makers, power plants, the shipping industry and others in its effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Cuccinelli additionally is challenging the EPA's finding the greenhouse gas emissions pose a danger to public health. He also is appealing a judge's order that prevented him from investigating former University of Virginia climate scientist Michael Mann.