"Texas Judge Rules Atmosphere, Air Is Public Trust"

"HOUSTON -- A Texas judge has ruled that the atmosphere and air must be protected for public use, just like water, which could help attorneys tasked with arguing climate change lawsuits designed to force states to cut emissions."

"The written ruling, issued in a letter Monday by Texas District Court Judge Gisela Triana, shot down arguments by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that only water is a 'public trust,' a doctrine that dates to the Roman Empire stating a government must protect certain resources -- usually water, sometimes wildlife -- for the common good.

Adam Abrams, one of the attorneys arguing the case against TCEQ, said Triana’s ruling could be used as a persuasive argument in lawsuits pending in 11 other states."

Ramit Plushnick-Masti reports for the Associated Press July 11, 2012.

Source: AP, 07/12/2012