Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Supreme Court: EPA Can Regulate CO2 Emissions

In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court decided that the EPA does indeed have the power to regulate CO2 emissions under the Clean Air Act. For years, industry lobbyists and the Bush Administration (but I repeat myself) have worked to keep CO2 from being regulated; however, the time has come for them to acknowledge that it really is a pollutant. It's important to note that while the Court decided that the EPA could regulate CO2 emissions, it left the question of whether it should up to that body. While this decision will hopefully force the EPA to actually take climate science into account when determining whether it will regulate CO2, I have a feeling we're not going to see any progress on this front until the entire EPA is replaced from the ground up with people who are actually committed to doing their jobs -- that is, enforcing environmental laws -- and not capitulating to the Big Three automakers and Big Energy.

I can't wait for 2008.

The NRDC (see first link, below) notes that this will have implications for California, which has had a lawsuit brought against it by auto manufacturers who think that a recently-passed law requiring a reduction in global warming pollutants is unjust. This lawsuit will probably end up being thrown out, with this ruling from the Supreme Court. And once automakers have to adapt to California, the rest of the country will see similar changes within a few years.

Some related links (if limited on time, start with the first and work your way down):

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