Supreme Court Fails to Rein in EPA

The EPA needs done away with.
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Contrary to headlines such as Fox News’ “Supreme Court limits EPA global warming rules,” the Supreme Court today ruled in favor of broad authority for the Environmental Protection Agency.

In an important opinion, the court ensured the EPA will continue to use its authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate “global warming,” and industry will have to sue in federal court to stop the EPA’s most egregious abuses.

The Clean Air Act authorizes the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases as an “air pollutant,” and the Supreme Court upheld this provision in a 2007 case. Since then, the EPA has begun to require permits for “major emitting facilities” of greenhouse gases. The problem is the text of the Clean Air Act sets the bar so low EPA could regulate almost any building in America, such as large apartment buildings or offices. Under different authority, the EPA even suggested regulating lawnmowers.

Because regulating every large building in America would be absurd, the EPA decided that it would set the bar higher. And today, the Supreme Court said that “rewriting” the law in this way is not something the EPA can do.

But the Supreme Court also upheld the second part of what the EPA was trying to do.



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