U.S. Supreme Court

SCOTUS to review EPA authority to regulate greenhouse gases for power plants


Updated: The U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to consider the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants and other stationary sources.

The U.S. Supreme Court accepted six cert petitions on the topic, but agreed to consider just one issue, report SCOTUSblog, USA Today the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press. The issue: whether the EPA’s authority to regulate vehicle emissions triggered permitting requirements for stationary sources of greenhouse gases, such as power plants and factories.

According to USA Today, the cert grant “presents a risk for President Obama and his environmental regulators, who replaced the Bush administration’s aversion to regulating greenhouse gases with a major push in the other direction, under the belief that it is responsible for climate change.”

But the Times says a ruling against the EPA won’t stop its efforts to develop the power plant rules under different provisions of the Clean Air Act. Jonas Monast, director of the climate and energy program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, made the same point in a statement issued by the university’s press office. “The core components of the president’s Climate Action Plan should therefore remain intact, regardless of how the Supreme Court resolves this case,” he said.

Updated at 11:08 a.m. to correct a reference to the Environmental Protection Agency. Updated at 1:24 p.m. to include coverage by the Los Angeles Times and the statement by Monast.

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