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Policy: Law

Supreme Court to hear case on greenhouse gas regs

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Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins,Supreme Court,EPA,Analysis,Energy and Environment,Law,Air Pollution,Greenhouse Gases

Supreme Court justices agreed Tuesday to review a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate greenhouse gases. The case involves the question of whether the Clean Air Act allows the EPA to regulate carbon emissions from "stationary facilities," i.e., factories and power plants, and not just motorized vehicles.

The justices bundled together six different, but related, challenges to the EPA's authority into one case. Four were from business groups, and the other two were from Virginia and Texas.

"We are pleased that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear our case," said the American Chemistry Council, one the challengers, in a statement. "We hope the Court will correct EPA’s egregious misreading of the Clean Air Act, which even the Agency concedes leads to 'absurd results.'"

Under President Obama, the EPA has continually produced new readings of the Clean Air Act to justify expanding its authority, arguing the threat of global warming and gridlock in Congress justifies the actions, even when the new regs would have scant effect on carbon levels.

In a House hearing last month, EPA director Gina McCarthy conceded that it was unlikely that any single new regulation would have a "visible impact."

For more on the EPA's aggressive expansion of its regulatory powers, see the Washington Examiner's coverage here.

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Sean Higgins

Senior Writer
The Washington Examiner