Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Environment 5, Bush Administration 4

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the EPA must regulate greenhouse gases, pursuant to its statutory authority to regulate pollutants. Hurrah!

Already the decision has had ramifications, as today EPA reopened the state of California's petition for an exemption from the Clean Air Act so that it can reduce tailpipe emissions by 25%. The petition has been sitting in limbo for two years.

Massachusetts et al v. Envivonmental Protection Agency et al, No. 05-1120 (pdf file)

For the environment:

John Paul Stevens, writing for the Court [appointed by Gerald Ford]
Stephen G. Breyer [appointed by Bill Clinton]
Ruth Bader Ginsburg [appointed by Bill Clinton]
Anthony M. Kennedy [appointed by Ronald Reagan]
David H. Souter [appointed by George H.W. Bush]

For the Bush Administration:
Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the dissent [appointed by George W. Bush]
Samuel A. Alito Jr. [appointed by George W. Bush]
Antonin Scalia [appointed by Ronald Reagan]
Clarence Thomas [appointed by George H.W. Bush]

The decision begins
"A well-documented rise in global temperatures has coincided with a significant increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Respected scientists believe the two trends are related. For when carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, it acts like the ceiling of a greenhouse, trapping solar energy and retarding the escape of reflected heat. It is therefore a species--the most important species--of a "greenhouse gas."

WaPo: High Court Faults EPA Inaction on Emissions
Critics of Bush Stance on Warming Claim Victory

The Supreme Court rebuked the Bush administration yesterday for refusing to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, siding with environmentalists in the court's first examination of the phenomenon of global warming.

The court ruled 5 to 4 that the Environmental Protection Agency violated the Clean Air Act by improperly declining to regulate new-vehicle emissions standards to control the pollutants that scientists say contribute to global warming.

WaPo: The Case of the Term Goes Against the White House

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