The following notice was mailed today by Anita Wylie.
NOTICE OF INTENT TO SUE
Governor Mike Pence
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller
Commissioner Carol Comer, Indiana Department of Environmental Management
Director Cameron F. Clark, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Please be advised that the undersigned intends to sue the Governor of the State of Indiana and the Commissioner, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, pursuant to IC 13-30-1-1, to require the State to take immediate action to begin formulating a Climate Action Plan (CAP) or other similar device to address Indiana’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) on a state-wide basis.
The scientific community has reached an overwhelming consensus that GHG emissions are contributing significantly to the massive shift in the Earth’s climate. So much indeed, that the United States Supreme Court found in Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007), that “[t]he harms associated with climate change are serious and well recognized” and that the United States Environmental Protection Agency had the duty to regulate GHG.* Massachusetts also states that this duty is mandatory, not discretionary.
Article 1 of the Indiana State Constitution guarantees the citizens of Indiana the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and that our government is founded on its authority to protect its citizens their peace, safety, and well-being. “For the advancement of these ends, the people have, at all times, an indefeasible right to alter and reform their government.”
IC 13-12-3-1 states:
Sec. 1. The purpose of this title is:
(1) to provide for evolving policies for comprehensive environmental development and control on a statewide basis;
(2) to unify, coordinate, and implement programs to provide for the most beneficial use of the resources of Indiana; and
(3) to preserve, protect, and enhance the quality of the environment so that, to the extent possible, future generations will be ensured clean air, clean water, and a healthful environment.
IC 13-12-2-1 states, “[b]eing necessary for the public health, safety and welfare, this title shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes of this title.”
IC 13-30-1-1 gives any citizen the right to sue a state agency or officer of the state for the protection of the environment form significant pollution, impairment, or destruction.
In June, 2013, the President issued a Climate Action Plan (CAP) for the United States. Since then, dozens of states, cities, towns and universities, even businesses, have begun and/or instituted their own version of the CAP.
To date, the State of Indiana has taken no steps to begin formulating plans and regulations to limit GHG. The citizens of Indiana deserve and demand, on behalf of themselves and future generations, that the Governor and the State of Indiana immediately begin a comprehensive and timely CAP.
Included with this letter is an article entitled “Welcome to a New Planet” by Michael Klare. This article is just one of many recent reviews of the most up-do-date science demonstrating how climate change is exponential, not linear. That means mankind has less time, not more, to institute significant and immediate mitigation efforts. Based on your public pronouncements to date, I know you are climate change deniers. But you are politicians, not climate scientist, so your opinions are devoid of merit.
I know this is an unusual use of this legal procedure, but dire times call for extreme measures. For that reason, the undersigned will not be mollified by a “business as usual” response, wherein you reply that you will be instituting some variety of inter-agency taskforce, to meet at some unspecified date, for an unspecified length of time. I am demanding a public/government partnership, weighted heavily with experts in the various fields called upon in formulating a Climate Action Plan; a panel that will be convened on a weekly, not monthly basis, with target dates of months, not years. I know you will say it is impossible, but as you will find out soon, more than enough knowledgeable experts stand ready to assist, and the technology needed to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is now both readily available and cost effective.
Without the above response, I am committed to filing this lawsuit. Regardless of the outcome, at least the court of public opinion will have an opportunity to know what the issues are, what needs to be done, and how you intend to adequately address this, our most pressing issue of all time.
*Once the EPA has published its final Clean Power Plan, and sixty (60) days have elapsed, this Notice of Intent to Sue will be amended to include the undersigned’s request and demand that the state immediately begin complying with those regulations, too. However, CPP compliance will not, and does not, substitute for the CAP.