Tuesday, April 3

SCOTUS Tells EPA To Act On CO2

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA has authority to regulate CO2 because,

(LA Times) In its ruling, the Supreme Court agreed that global warming represented a different kind of air pollution problem. Gases such as carbon dioxide, once released into the atmosphere, "act like a ceiling of a greenhouse, trapping solar energy and retarding the escape of reflected heat," the court said.

The majority opinion, written by Justice John Paul Stevens, said that under the Clean Air Act, the EPA was required to regulate the emission of "any air pollutant" that was likely "to endanger public health or welfare."

He said the word "welfare" was defined broadly to include "effects on the climate and weather."

In scolding the EPA for not moving to regulate greenhouse gases, he said the emissions fit well within the law's definition of air pollutants and that the agency had "the statutory authority to regulate the emission of such gases from new motor vehicles."
However, he does say that the EPA can "avoid" taking action on CO2 and greenhouse gases if they are proven not to contribute to climate change. I wonder what Bush and the loopy Sen. Inhofe will come up with in response to this?