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Monday, April 02, 2007

Supreme Court Rules Against EPA's Inaction on Climate Change

In November, as I posted in this blog (click here to read the post), the Supreme Court heard a case brought by 12 states, including Maine, and various environmental groups to force EPA to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. EPA claimed that the Clean Air Act did not give the Department the authority to do so.

In a decision handed down today, the Supreme Court rejected the Bush Administration's case. While not saying what the regulations should contain, the 5 - 4 decision supports the claims of the plaintiffs that EPA must regulate global warming pollution.

Reuters reports (click here to read the article) that "the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 'has offered no reasoned explanation' for its refusal to regulate carbon dioxide and other emissions from new cars and trucks that contribute to climate change... Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the court majority, rejected the administration's argument that it lacked the power to regulate such emissions. He said the EPA's decision was arbitrary, capricious or otherwise not in accordance with law.'"

Hopefully, this decision is another example of the tide turning. With leadership from the federal level through the EPA, along with work being done in Congress, we may see a coordinated attempt by the United States, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, to address this critical issue while we still have time to minimize the impact of climate change.

Click here if you want to read the Supreme Court's opinion "MASSACHUSETTS, ET AL., PETITIONERS v. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ET AL. "

1 comment:

David Wozney said...

Carbon dioxide released by man near ground level is heavier than air and sinks in air rather than rising up to the upper atmosphere to become a so-called greenhouse gas. While sinking, it stratifies from air. After sinking and stratifying, it tends to remain close to the ground and may find its way down to low-lying water bodies or down to ocean level where it can mix and react with water to form weak carbonic acid. Carbon dioxide is also removed from the lower atmosphere by rainfall.