Court Rules EPA Can Regulate Greenhouse Gases

Jun 27, 2012

A federal district court has upheld the EPA’s ability to set standards for regulating greenhouse gas emissions.  

A ruling in 2007 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Massachusetts v. EPA determined  that greenhouse gasses are an air pollutant that fall under Clean Air Act regulation.  The EPA subsequently issued several rules. Those rules were challenged. The Washington D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decided in favor of the EPA on Tuesday.  Seventeen states were involved in defending the EPA, including Vermont and New York. Vermont Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Environmental Protection Division Scot Kline says this decision has nationwide implications.

Adirondack Council Spokesman John Sheehan says the ruling is verification that the federal government has the right to control greenhouse gas emissions from industry.

PACE Energy and Climate Center Director of Strategic Engagement Jackson Morris says it’s good to see the court reaffirming the science and legal pathways the EPA had taken to address a threat to public health and the environment.

John Sheehan is encouraged by the court’s strong language in finding that the EPA is “unambiguously correct” regarding the Clean Air Act and that opponents were not harmed by the rules.

States in the region that defended the EPA standards include Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and the city of New York.