Challenge, accepted: Supreme Court to review EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations

posted at 1:21 pm on October 15, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The Obama administration has been mighty pleased with themselves and the various ways in which they have stepped up their climate-change game with impunity, mainly through aggressive regulatory maneuvering (most recently with their new plans to essentially regulate new coal-plant construction out of existence paired with their forthcoming plans to regulate existing coal plants next year).

The Obama administration has been discouraging the Supreme Court from providing a platform for the inevitable legal challenges to their emissions-capping agenda, but to no avail: The highest court in the land decided to hear out the consolidated arguments against the Environmental Protection Agency’s self-appointed practices from several industry groups, Texas, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Last year, the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled against their suit challenging the EPA’s regulations, and SCOTUS is going to reexamine parts of that ruling, via the WSJ:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would consider challenges to Environmental Protect Agency limits on greenhouse-gas emissions, throwing the Obama administration’s landmark rules into a state of uncertainty. …

A three-judge panel in June 2012 upheld the agency’s finding that greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide endangered public health and were likely responsible for global warming. The appeals court further upheld EPA emissions limits for new vehicles and refused to entertain the challengers’ efforts to stop the agency from phasing in emissions regulations on industrial facilities like power plants.

The Supreme Court will review part of that ruling. The justices said in a short written order that they will consider the EPA’s decision to impose greenhouse-gas permitting requirements on power plants and other stationary sources.

The justices rejected appeals to rehear the major 2007 case in which they decided that the Clean Air Act affords the EPA the authority to regulate heat-trapping gases in automobile emissions, nor will they be reviewing the petitions challenging the EPA’s conclusion that carbon emissions endanger public health and the planet; the issue at play here will be whether the “EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases,” i.e., power plants.

The Obama administration and their self-titled “environmentalist” allies will not be pleased, via Businessweek:

The Obama administration urged the Supreme Court not to take the case, saying the lower court ruling was a straightforward application of the Clean Air Act, in keeping with the deference that judges generally afford to federal administrative agencies. The clash centers on interrelated rules issued by the EPA in 2009 and 2010.

The opponents’ “policy concerns with the implementation of an intentionally broad and precautionary statutory scheme are properly addressed to Congress,” said U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, the administration’s top courtroom lawyer.

Environmental advocates and a New York-led group of 17 states joined the administration in opposing Supreme Court review.

The case will be argued in the first half of 2014 with an expected decision over the summer, and with these power-plant regulations serving as one of the main components of their grandiose and ostensible climate-change-curbing ambitions, expect the Obama administration to fight for this one tooth and nail.


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John Roberts will say carbon tax is a tax and that will be the end of the story

jaywemm on October 15, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Who is that guy in the photo for this article on the front page?

NOMOBO on October 15, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Obama needs to be in court weekly trying to defend his power grabs.

Tater Salad on October 15, 2013 at 1:36 PM

A three-judge panel in June 2012 upheld the agency’s finding that greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide endangered public health and were likely responsible for global warming.

If this weren’t so sad, I would laugh. A panel of three judges — y’know, people who went to LAW school — are deciding for the nation whether carbon dioxide is likely responsible for global warming? And now we’re supposed to be happy because another nine lawyers are going to agree to let us argue about it some more?

Yeah, I’m sure that’s exactly the role the founding fathers intended the Supreme Court to play…

Shump on October 15, 2013 at 1:37 PM

These EPA “rules”, imposed unilaterally (without Congressional approval) in 2010, made it virtually impossible for any new fossil-fuel-fired power plant (including by clean natural gas) to be permitted, and existing power plants which need permit renewals every 5 years may soon be shut down.

Unless the SCOTUS overturns this “rule”, it will be literally lights out for anyone who doesn’t get their power from nuclear or hydro power. Meanwhile all that natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation goes to waste, instead of being burned to generate cheap, clean power…

Power to the People…including electric power!

Steve Z on October 15, 2013 at 1:40 PM

The LA Times cuts off global warming climate change “deniers:”

From CBS: “The L.A. Times is cutting off comments (something the deniers clearly noticed, based on the more than 100 comments posted to Tuesday’s op-ed). But when it comes to what the paper’s editors will print, letters from climate change deniers are no longer under consideration.”

Wow, now the LA Times joins Popular Science and a growing number of leftist publications that are resorting to Gestapo censorship tactics to squelch opposing viewpoints and push only the leftist propaganda on climate change.

James Hansen of NASA, who said “Chief executives of large fossil fuel companies [should] be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature,” must approve.

“It is clear that 1998 did not match the record warmth of 1934.” -James Hansen, NASA

“The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. ” -Kevin Trenberth, Climatologist

anotherJoe on October 15, 2013 at 1:43 PM

It is extraordinary how bad courts do science and medicine. There appears to be no common sense, no sense of consequence, and a degree of ignorance about the subject matters that would embarrass a college freshman. You can hardly name a field where the court has not succumbed to junk science.

pat on October 15, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Sadly, making the determination whether CO2 is responsible for mythical climate change is not a subject that the courts are handled to equip.

MJBrutus on October 15, 2013 at 1:51 PM

From The Economist: The mismatch between rising greenhouse gas emissions and not-rising temperatures [15 year temperature stall] is among the biggest puzzles in climate science just now.

Now you see so many warmists saying like: “Well, what if we are wrong? Will we have done such a terrible thing by building a better world anyway?”
A better world?
Like the * 83% * CO2 cuts mandated by 2050 that were in the Cap & Trade bill that passed the US House in 2009. 83%, with large cuts coming immediately. This would have taken a wrecking ball to the economy, and created virtually apocalyptic havoc. “A better world,” I’m afraid not.

anotherJoe on October 15, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Eh..just call it a tax. Say it originated in the Senate, don’t let the House vote on it, and you’re good.

oldroy on October 15, 2013 at 1:52 PM

MJBrutus on October 15, 2013 at 1:51 PM

er, make that equipped to handle.

MJBrutus on October 15, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Soon the courts will get a taste of what the opposition in Congress is getting….

Don’t question the DOTUS.

PappyD61 on October 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Who is that guy in the photo for this article on the front page?

NOMOBO on October 15, 2013 at 1:30 PM

It’s Jack Lemmon. But he died in 2001.

BuckeyeSam on October 15, 2013 at 1:58 PM

“A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States… [we] must design a stable, low-consumption economy.” -John Holdren (1973), Obama’s Science Czar
“We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing.” -the leftist Senator Tim Wirth, 1993
“Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.” -Sir John Houghton, first chairman of ipcc
“The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.” -Daniel Botkin, ex Chair of Environmental Studies, UCSB
“We have to offer up scary scenarios… each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective [dishonest] and being honest [ineffective].” -Stephen Schneider, lead ipcc author, 1989

anotherJoe on October 15, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Coming into Los Angeles
Bringing in a couple of keys
Don’t touch my bags if you please
Mister Customs man.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRpj9mCl0qg

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/10/15/police-search-for-dry-ice-bomb-suspect-after-3-more-found-at-lax/

davidk on October 15, 2013 at 2:02 PM

If CO2 is a “Pollutant” then we need to cut down all the trees. Damn idiot progressives, they destroy everything that is good in this world all in their quest for power.

D-fusit on October 15, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Yeah, I’m sure that’s exactly the role the founding fathers intended the Supreme Court to play…

Shump on October 15, 2013 at 1:37 PM

If you’re not listening to Mark Levin, you should be. Kindred spirits for sure.

CaptFlood on October 15, 2013 at 2:18 PM

They tried this before with the whole ‘The Coming Ice Age’ scare back in the seventies. Then ‘Global Warming’ reared its bloated, Gore-like head. When the numbers didn’t end up supporting this meme, the issue morphed into the more general ‘Climate Change’ so they could claim victory no matter which way the needle moved.

The moment some idiot declares this as ‘Settled Science,’ they should get tossed ass-over-teakettle out the nearest window, metaphorically speaking, of course.

CaptFlood on October 15, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Metaphors never saved fair maiden, nor the world.

Another Drew on October 15, 2013 at 2:42 PM

If CO2 is a “Pollutant” then we need to cut down all the trees. Damn idiot progressives, they destroy everything that is good in this world all in their quest for power.
D-fusit on October 15, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Um, trees and plants consume CO2, they don’t produce it.

SpudmanWP on October 15, 2013 at 2:55 PM

In order to become a lawyer or judge in the U.S. circuits or Supreme Court, you must have flunked:

-Science (see AGW)
-Math (see ACA/cost to consumers)
-English (easy one – see U.S. Constitution)
-History (So just what DID our founding fathers wish to achieve?)

…and just about anything else that requires any intelligence, decency, or common sense.

Please feel free to add to the list. I just hit the high spots.

Turtle317 on October 15, 2013 at 3:05 PM

IRS to audit the SCOTUS Justices in 3…2…1…

Wyznowski on October 15, 2013 at 3:09 PM

SCOTUS is just concern trolling.

Tsar of Earth on October 15, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Haha.. Well, we have Chief Justice Roberts, so we’re all good!!! Oh wait….

Hannibal on October 15, 2013 at 3:36 PM

The Obama administration urged the Supreme Court not to take the case, saying the lower court ruling was a straightforward application of the Clean Air Act, in keeping with the deference that judges generally afford to federal administrative agencies.

Herein lies the root cause. Libs do the same thing with regulation that they have done with the Constitution. Where there is absent a specific ban on doing something, they feel they have authority to act. Topsy Turvy, it should be the other way around.

Amend the Clean Air Act to require that Congress specifically grant authority to regulate a pollutant. Letting an agency decide what they will and will not regulate is as idiotic as it gets. Of course they are always going to act in a manner which expands the scope of their power.

weaselyone on October 15, 2013 at 3:43 PM

weaselyone on October 15, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Shorter. Point out the passage in the Clean Air Act where Congress specifically wrote into law that the EPA has the authority to regulate Greenhouse Gases.

weaselyone on October 15, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Amend the Clean Air Act to require that Congress specifically grant authority to regulate a pollutant. Letting an agency decide what they will and will not regulate is as idiotic as it gets. Of course they are always going to act in a manner which expands the scope of their power.

weaselyone on October 15, 2013 at 3:43 PM

I would argue that the Clean Air Act was written just as congress wanted it written. Could you imagine the heart burn those guys (both Dems and Moderate Republicans…but I repeat myself) would have if they HAD to determine what pollutant to regulate? I mean, geez, they could actually get some people upset with them and then they might not get re-elected and then they’d have to find a real job.

dirtseller on October 15, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Let’s see just how many opinions CJ Roberts writes before this is decided so that he can choose the one that makes the decision come out the way the politicians want it; that is what he did with obamacare and look how he screwed the American public on that one.

Pardonme on October 15, 2013 at 4:16 PM

I just don’t understand all of you climate change deniers. It is incontrovertable that climate change is occurring. Why, here in South Texas it was seventy-five degrees and raining yesterday, and today it is ninety degrees and sunny. If that ain’t climate change I don’t know what is.

NOMOBO on October 15, 2013 at 4:23 PM

I would argue that the Clean Air Act was written just as congress wanted it written. Could you imagine the heart burn those guys (both Dems and Moderate Republicans…but I repeat myself) would have if they HAD to determine what pollutant to regulate? I mean, geez, they could actually get some people upset with them and then they might not get re-elected and then they’d have to find a real job.

dirtseller on October 15, 2013 at 3:56 PM

The fact that Republicans and Coal state Dems are not pushing bills to amend the Clean Air Act to specifically exclude GHGs from being regulated under PSD points to you being nearly correct in your assumption.

I would argue that the elected officials in the 60s/70s had no idea that the laws they were passing would grow into the behemoths they have become. The fact that elected officials continue to foist new bemoths upon us by expanding regulatory power is reprehensible. Thanks to Obamacare, the DHHS will have more power over the daily lives of Americans than OSHA and EPA combined.

weaselyone on October 15, 2013 at 4:24 PM

I just don’t understand all of you climate change deniers. It is incontrovertable that climate change is occurring. Why, here in South Texas it was seventy-five degrees and raining yesterday, and today it is ninety degrees and sunny. If that ain’t climate change I don’t know what is.

NOMOBO on October 15, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Arguing on the merits and scientific evidence of climate change is an unnecessary endeavor. The Climate Change enthusiast’s argument can be broken with one simple statement of fact:

If the United States continues to overregulate GHG emissions from sources inside the United States, global GHG emissions will increase. We reduce our GHG emissions which increases the costs of our products. People buy cheaper products from other countries who aren’t concerned about GHG emissions. A reduction in United States GHG emissions results in a global increase in GHG emissions.
In simpler terms: Carbon Leakage

weaselyone on October 15, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Bummer the feds didn’t decide to cap emissions when our Colorado fires were raging. But then, Obama dropped by for a speech so we were good.

As far as Gina McCarthy goes, Arrowsmith got the song “Dude Look Like a Lady” backwards.

NoPain on October 15, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Unfortunately, the democrat justices won’t want to disappoint the boss, and the republicans have in their midst people who just want to be liked by liberals.

Predict 6-3 in favor of unconstitutional EPA tyranny.

virgo on October 16, 2013 at 3:18 AM

Now if we could only get the worst additive out of our fuel.
Okay, it doesn’t make us dumb and poison us like lead, but, it ruins our engines, forces up corn prices, and starves third world countries.
Plus Al Gore voted for it so that he could win the vote in Iowa.

kregg on October 16, 2013 at 6:01 AM

I don’t share the pessimism that the court will favor the EPA control vs regulation.
In these cases they are not protecting environment (much like the fracking fears), but, they are threatening our businesses. Energy is the key to our prosperity and our posterity. At one point even the zaniest liberal will have to say enough is enough.

kregg on October 16, 2013 at 6:41 AM