Iowa is joining with 16 other states in urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to begin regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions from motor vehicles. Iowa Attorney General Spokesman Bob Brammer says the states first addressed the issue back in 1999.

Brammer says the E.P.A. rejected the idea that the agency has the responsibility to regulate greenhouse gases and it went to the courts. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court established the E.P.A.’s responsibility to regulate emissions under the Federal Clean Air Act. Brammer says the states sent a letter to the E.P.A. Wednesday.

Brammer says the states contend the E.P.A. is "unreasonably delaying action on the matter" and really has "failed to exercise its clear authority" which he says adds up to an abdication of their regulatory responsibility. Brammer says the states want the E.P.A. to make a determination that greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles and other sources cause or contribute to pollution which may endanger public health. The letter warns that further delay will result in legal action.