Bloomberg BNA’s expert authors look at the impact of the court decision upholding the EPA’s powers to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, utilities, and industrial sources. The authors argue that these limits are likely permanent given Congressional gridlock hampering any effort to block the rule or enact a more flexible regulatory regime.
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By R. Morgan Gilhuly and Christopher Jensen (August 16, 2012)
Federal rules to limit greenhouse gas emissions are likely here to stay. That, the authors of this article say, is the unambiguous message of the June 26, 2012 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upholding Environmental Protection Agency regulations under the Clean Air Act to control greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, utilities, and industrial sources. EPA’s greenhouse gas limits will be applied under a law last revised in 1990, and which was not designed to address climate change. That could be extremely onerous for new coal- and oil-fired power plants, which could be subject to new rules as early as next year. There is little hope Congress can overcome gridlock either to block the regulations or to enact a more flexible regulatory regime. It appears far more likely that EPA will continue its judicially mandated attempts to use the Clean Air Act to address the climate crisis.
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