Breaking News: Supreme Court Strikes Down Part of Obama Climate Initiative

In a 5-4 decision on June 23, the Supreme Court ruled that EPA erred in the permitting processes for new carbon-cutting rules. However, most of the Clean Power Plant rule that reduces emissions 30 percent will not be affected.

The Supreme Court "blocked the Obama administration from requiring special permits for some new power plants, but upheld them for others," writes David G. Savage, the Los Angeles Times Supreme Court reporter.

In a dense 5-4 decision [PDF] Monday, the justices said the Environmental Protection Agency had wrongly stretched an anti-pollution provision of the Clean Air Act to cover carbon emissions in new or modified plants.

E&E reporter Jeremy P. Jacobs writes that the ruling stems from litigation brought by "(u)tilities, several industry trade groups and a dozen states (who) challenged EPA's suite of greenhouse gas regulations, including the auto standards and EPA's finding that the gases endanger public health." 

Savage writes that "the ruling was confined to only one regulatory provision, and it is not likely to directly affect the broader climate change policy that the administration announced earlier this month."

The agency preferred to focus the rules on large industrial facilities. Although that move exempted most businesses from regulation, it also left EPA open to attack from industry lawyers, who accused it of rewriting the law to support its regulations.

However, Savage tweets that the ruling "is not expected to affect administration's broader greenhouse gas rules."

Full Story: Supreme Court limits EPA authority on power plants


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