Environmental News: Media Center

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Supreme Court Reaffirms EPA Authority to Limit Carbon Pollution
Court to review one narrow question regarding air permitting requirements

WASHINGTON (October 15, 2013) – The Supreme Court today rejected challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to limit carbon pollution from vehicles and other sources, but will review a specific question about air permitting requirements.

David Doniger, director of policy for the Natural Resources Defense Council’s climate and clean air program, made the following statement:

“Let’s be clear about what the Supreme Court did today: The court rejected pleas by big polluters and a small group of states to review the EPA’s authority to limit greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and other sources when they endanger public health or welfare.

“That’s a huge win for anybody who cares about clean air and combatting climate change. It means the EPA’s endangerment finding and vehicle standards are now settled law.  It also means the way is clear to issue carbon pollution standards for power plants under the President’s Climate Action Plan.

“What the Supreme Court will review is one specific, narrow question: Whether certain clean air permitting requirements for industrial sources are triggered by EPA’s endangerment determination and clean vehicle standards. 

“The bottom line: Today’s decision once again affirms what the Court has already decided in Massachusetts v. EPA in 2007 and American Electric Power v. Connecticut in 2011. When it determines that carbon pollution endangers our health and our climate, the EPA has both the authority and responsibility to set standards to limit that pollution.”

For more details, please see David’s blog here: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/ddoniger/

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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