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In Victory for Abbott, SCOTUS to Review EPA Greenhouse Gas Regs

In Victory for Abbott, SCOTUS to Review EPA Greenhouse Gas Regs

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider one of the most significant environmental initiatives of the Obama Administration, in a case brought by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, 1200 WOAI news reports.

  The court will consider whether the EPA's recognized authority to regulate the ozone emissions from motor vehicles gives them the ability to impose strict new regulations on so called 'stationary sources' like refineries and power plants.

  "It is a major Obama Administration initiative now to use what authority is available to them to regulate greenhouse gasses, after Congress made it clear that it is not going to do anything about it," said Thomas McGarrity, a law professor at the University of Texas.

  The greenhouse gas limits, which officials say will result in sharply higher electricity and gasoline bills for consumers, have been imposed in the name of fighting climate change.  But climate change is a political 'third rail' for politicians, who do not want to take actions which may harm consumers in the name of a controversial theory which many think is manufactured by self-serving scientists.

  The Texas Public Policy Foundation says the Supreme Court rule will determine the fate of one of the key initiatives of the Obama Administration.

  "In the rule under review, EPA has arrogated to itself Congress' power to re-write the black-letter terms of the Clean Air Act," said Kathleen Hartnett White, who is Director of the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment as the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

  "Congress has repeatedly declined to pass a law giving EPA the power to mandate reduction of carbon dioxide, an ubiquitous result of natural processes and human activity.  The Clear Air Act sets limits on EPA's power.  Under EPA's greenhouse gas regulations, the agency has asserted virtually limitless power over American economic life."

  The decision to consider the case is also a huge victory for Abbott, who recently said his job description consists of 'getting up in the morning, suing the Obama Administration, and then going home.'  Abbott was one of the two Attorneys General who led the unsuccessful U.S. Supreme Court challenge of the Affordable Care Act.

  Abbott says the EPA is a runaway federal agency which routinely violates the U.S. Constitution.

  Under the Clean Air Act, which created the EPA, the agency is required to take steps 'in concert' with states which would be affected by regulations, and is also required to hold off on issuing regulations which directly affect states.  Abbott says that the EPA failed to do that in the greenhouse gas emissions case.

  "If the court holds that EPA cannot incorporate this into the permitting process, that will have a major implication for the EPA's ability to regulate in this area," McGarrity said.

  A federal appeals court in Washington DC has upheld the EPA's ability to impose these new regulations.

 

 

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