June 3, 2010

Mirant sues Montgomery County over pollution tax

Montgomery County's largest polluter is suing the county over a new law that imposes a tax on its carbon dioxide emissions. A much-anticipated lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of the Mirant coal-fired power plant in Dickerson, claiming the county's law is unconstitutional because it singles out the business. In the lawsuit, the Atlanta company is seeking to overturn the law and avoid paying the county until the issue is worked out in court. If Mirant's injunction is successful, the money would be placed in escrow and would go to the county if the company loses the lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.

"I would predict [Mirant] would take this all the way to the [U.S.] Supreme Court if given the opportunity," said Montgomery County Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Dist. 1) of Potomac.

Berliner, an environmental attorney, proposed the tax, which charges $5 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions for companies that generate more than 1 million tons. Currently, the law applies only to the Mirant power plant. SOURCE: Gazette

No comments: