Federal Court Upholds EPA's Global Warming Rules
The State Journal
26 June 2012
Dina Cappiello, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the
first-ever regulations aimed at reducing the gases blamed for
The rules, which were challenged by industry groups and various
states, will reduce emissions of six heat-trapping gases from
large industrial facilities such as factories and power plants, as
well as from automobile tailpipes.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington
said that the Environmental Protection Agency was "unambiguously
correct" in using existing federal law to address global warming.
The ruling is perhaps the most significant to come on the issue
since 2007, when the Supreme Court found that greenhouse gases
could be controlled as air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.
It also lands during a presidential election year where there are
sharp differences between the two candidates when it comes to how
best to deal with global warming.
President Barack Obama's administration has come under fierce
criticism from Republicans, including Mitt Romney, for pushing
ahead with regulations after Congress failed to pass climate
legislation. In 2009, the EPA concluded that greenhouse gases
endanger human health and welfare, triggering controls on
automobiles and other large sources. But the administration has
always said it preferred to address global warming through a new
The court on Tuesday denied two challenges to the administration's
rules, including one arguing that the agency erred in concluding
greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare.
The court dismissed arguments against two other regulations
dealing with pollution from new factories and other industrial
facilities, saying that no one challenging the rules could show
they had been harmed by them.
Industry groups vowed to fight on.
"Today's ruling is a setback for businesses facing damaging
regulations from the EPA," said Jay Timmons, president and CEO of
the National Association of Manufacturers. "We will be considering
all of our legal options when it comes to halting these
devastating regulations. The debate to address climate change
should take place in the U.S. Congress and should foster economic
growth and job creation, not impose additional burdens on
Environmentalists, meanwhile, called it a landmark decision for
global warming policy, which has been repeatedly targeted by the
"Today's ruling by the court confirms that EPA's common sense
solutions to address climate pollution are firmly anchored in
science and law," said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental