Supreme Court Rules Against EPA
In a defeat for the Bush administration, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a U.S. government agency has the power under the clean air law to regulate greenhouse gas emissions that spur global warming.
The nation's highest court by a 5-4 vote said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency "has offered no reasoned explanation" for its refusal to regulate carbon dioxide and other emissions from new cars and trucks that contribute to climate change.
The NY Times is running an AP story about the decision - it notes:
The court had three questions before it.
--Do states have the right to sue the EPA to challenge its decision?
--Does the Clean Air Act give EPA the authority to regulate tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases?
--Does EPA have the discretion not to regulate those emissions?
The court said yes to the first two questions. On the third, it ordered EPA to re-evaluate its contention it has the discretion not to regulate tailpipe emissions. The court said the agency has so far provided a "laundry list" of reasons that include foreign policy considerations.
So don't expect the EPA to suddenly start regulating GHGs - they have lots of time to come up with more excuses not to and let challenges to that decision slowly work through the system.
This is a quick post to get the info out there - I'll post more this afternoon. Did not see this one coming. You can read the Massachusetts v. EPA opinion yourself.