Federal Court supports US EPA on greenhouse regulations

28 June 2012

NEW YORK: The US Federal Appeals Court has upheld the Obama administration’s proposed greenhouse gas regulations, in what is an important win in the effort to regulate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

Following the EPA’s announcement in April that it intended to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power stations, a group of businesses, industry groups and states sought the court’s support to curtail the EPA’s efforts. They have been unsuccessful. The three-judge panel concluded that greenhouse gas emissions are a pollutant that endanger human health and that states and industries don’t have a legal right to challenge regulations that require them to cut their emissions under the Clean Air Act.

“The court’s decision confirms that the EPA does currently have the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions,” said Evan Juska, Head of US Policy, The Climate Group.
“However, Congress will be the ultimate decider. We have already seen a number of efforts in Congress that try to limit the EPA’s powers. And this decision will only sharpen Congress’ attention on this issue.”

The decision was unanimous by a three-judge panel. While it is possible for those industry groups and states that oppose the rules to ask the full court to rehear the case, this is unlikely as the court rarely grants petitions for rehearings, especially when panel rulings are unanimous.

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