By Summit Voice
FRISCO — The U.S. Supreme Court won’t question the EPA‘s fundamental finding that greenhouse gases are a big environmental threat, but the justices will decide how far the agency’s authority to regulate those gases extends.
At issue is the EPA’s ability to set emission limits on cars, factories and power plants — all key pieces in the Obama administration’s push to get a handle on global warming. Big business, of course, would like to see business-as-usual, and along with several states, legally challenged the EPA’s rule-making authority.
“The climate crisis threatens everything we hold dear but the Clean Air Act can help dig us out of this hole,” said Kevin Bundy, senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “We’re happy to see the Supreme Court turn back the brunt of industry’s broadside attack on the law. We hope the court will confirm EPA’s authority, under the plain terms of the Clean Air Act, to require state-of-the-art pollution controls from new power plants and factories.”
According to Bundy, the court will narrowly review whether EPA’s regulation of vehicle emissions under the Clean Air Act also means that new and modified stationary sources like power plants and factories must obtain permits and take steps to control climate pollution.
Clean Air Act regulation for greenhouse gases is urgently needed because climate change is already occurring, and the damage is rapidly worsening. Climate disruption has already increased the risk from some types of weather-related disasters, including last year’s brutal heat wave in America, according to a key scientific report released last month by scientists from around the world.
In their challenge, industry groups dragged out their same tired arguments about the potential economic cost of new regulations, without even beginning to address the potentially bank-breaking costs of future climate-related disasters.
In a brief filed with the court, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — possibly the most anti-environmental business group in the world — argued that the greenhouse gas regulations are the “costliest, farthest reaching, and most intrusive regulatory apparatus in the history of the American administrative state.”
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, Environment, global warming Tagged: | Clean Air Act, climate crisis, EPA, global warming, Greenhouse gas, greenhouse gas regulations, Supreme Court, United States Supreme Court