Tuesday, October 15, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Challenges To CO2 Regulations

The United States Supreme Court today denied industry and state petitions that challenged the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) historic finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare. The high court also left standing EPA's emission standards for vehicles.

The Court granted review on the narrow question of "whether EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases."

Opponents of EPA's proposed rules on greenhouse gases have lined up to challenge the rules in court, arguing that they are far-reaching and intrusive. They say the court’s 2007 Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency ruling only directed the federal government to regulate tailpipe emissions under the Clean Air Act — and that it fell short of granting the EPA the authority to regulate “stationary” power plant emissions.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear some of those challenges:

The court accepted six separate petitions that sought to roll back EPA’s clout over carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. That could signal the court’s dissatisfaction with a 2012 ruling by the nation’s second most powerful court — the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia Circuit — affirming the agency’s authority.

The decision to accept cases brought by Texas, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, energy producers and others represented a potential victory for groups that customarily enjoy considerable sway at the conservative-leaning court.  (Sierra Club, 10/15/2013, USA Today, 10/15/2013, Grist, 10/15/2013)

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