World Bulletin/News Desk
The state of Alaska sued the Obama administration on Friday to block environmental regulations that would require ships sailing in southern Alaska waters to use low-sulfur fuel.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage, challenges the new federal regulations, which require the use of low-sulfur fuel for large marine vessels such as cargo and cruise ships.
The rule is scheduled to be enforced starting on Aug. 1 by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard for ships operating within 200 miles (322 kilometres) of the shores of southeastern and south-central Alaska, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit faults the EPA, the Department of Homeland Security and others for using a marine treaty amendment as the basis for the new federal regulations without waiting for ratification of that amendment by the U.S. Senate.
The Alaska Department of Law said in a statement that the low-sulfur-fuel requirement would be costly, jacking up prices for products shipped by marine vessel and harming Alaska's cruise industry.
"Alaska relies heavily on maritime traffic, both for goods shipped to and from the state, and for the cruise ship passengers who support thousands of Alaskan jobs," Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty said in a statement.
"There are reasonable and equally effective alternatives for the Secretary and the EPA to consider which would still protect the environment but dramatically reduce the severe impact these regulations will have on Alaskan jobs and families."
Totem Ocean Trailer Express, a major shipper operating in Alaska, estimates that the move to low-sulfur fuel will increase its costs by 8 percent, Geraghty said.
A spokesman for EPA's Seattle regional office was not immediately available to comment on the lawsuit.
The treaty amendment at issue is a 2010 agreement under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, or MARPOL. The United States has signed onto MARPOL, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has accepted the 2010 amendment.
Domestic enforcement of the amendment is not permitted without ratification by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate, Assistant Alaska Attorney General Seth Beausang said. He said the EPA also erred by failing to conduct an environmental analysis.
"The only thing they relied on was the treaty amendment in issuing the regulations," he told Reuters, adding that Alaska was not coordinating its effort to overturn the regulations with any other state.
The lawsuit names as defendants the EPA and its director, Lisa Jackson, the Department of Homeland Security and Secretary Janet Napolitano, the Coast Guard and its commandant, Admiral Robert Papp, and Clinton.
Kerry and Lavrov "exchanged opinions about concrete proposals by Russia and the United States to ensure civil peace and concord" in Ukraine, the ministry said
Comments were the latest salvo in a long-running and bitter dispute between the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA over documents outlining the agency's handling of the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects
Zeidan lost a confidence vote in parliament and will be replaced temporarily by the defence minister
Bomb attacks have increased since last year, raising concern about further instability in the Western-allied kingdom
In recent weeks a string of leaders have compared Modi's rise to the emergence of fascism in Europe.
Pistorius is facing separate gun charges for the two incidents, part of the prosecution's attempts to paint him as a cocky, gun-obsessed hot-head who does not like to take responsibility for his actions
Tusk said the European Union would impose sanctions on Russia starting on Monday over its military intervention in Ukraine's Crimea region
A Ukrainian airline plane was turned back on its way from Kiev to Simferopol, the region's main city, and had to return to the Ukrainian capital.
The United States says both the air drills in Poland and its joint naval exercises in the Black Sea were planned before the crisis in Ukraine
The women were taken after soldiers without insignia spotted a pro-Maidan tattoo on one of the women's hands at a checkpoint.
If the referendum scheduled for March 16 votes in favour of leaving Ukraine, then Crimea will be declared an independent and autonomous republic, according to a press statement from the parliament.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights demands that attacks on civilians in South Darfur are stopped.
A Palestinian youth and a judge were killed in the West Bank, Israel says regrets killing
The funeral ceremony for the Afghanistan's vice-president, who died at the weekend, has taken place.
After repeatedly being refused entry to Crimea, an unarmed OSCE military observer mission will instead go to other parts of Ukraine
If confirmed, the news would be a huge embarrassment for the government after top officials said the navy had seized the tanker and would escort it to a harbour controlled by Tripoli.