Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Court says U.S. EPA should regulate greenhouse gases

In case you hadn't heard yet...

WASHINGTON, April 2 — In one of its most important environmental decisions in years, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate heat-trapping gases in automobile emissions. The court further ruled that the agency could not sidestep its authority to regulate the greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change unless it could provide a scientific basis for its refusal. (NY Times)

The ruling has as much to do with US law as science. It essentially means that federal action on greenhouse gas emissions must not depend on the US Congress agreeing to legislation. The EPA has the power and the authority to do so under the Clean Air Act. The President could simply tell the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases.

Today's news is that the current holder of that title, despite the court decision and despite pressure from Congress and the Senate, still won't regulate greenhouse gases.

So it is possible that the real impact of the momentous Supreme Court decision may not be felt until January 20, 2009.

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