Issue Date: July 2, 2012
Court Affirms Regulation Of Greenhouse Gases
In a major victory for EPA, a federal appeals court last week upheld the agency’s 2009 finding that greenhouse gas emissions need to be regulated under the Clean Air Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit called EPA’s decision “unambiguously correct.” A three-judge panel unanimously rejected arguments from several states, industry organizations, and conservative groups. They contend that in deciding to regulate greenhouse gases, EPA improperly relied on assessments from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and the National Research Council rather than on individual papers. “It makes no difference that much of the scientific evidence in large part consisted of ‘syntheses’ of individual studies and research,” the court replied. “This is how science works. EPA is not required to re-prove the existence of the atom every time it approaches a scientific question.” The court also upheld EPA’s 2010 regulation limiting CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks. Key Republicans called the decision a blow to the U.S. economy and are calling for Congress to rewrite the Clean Air Act to stop EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
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