Supreme Court Split Decision Opens Door to EPA Power Grab

The Supreme Court today, in a 5-4 decision, overturned EPA’s decision not to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new vehicles. EPA must now reconsider its original ruling. The Court’s decision has broad implications, ranging from the judicial standing of environmental plaintiffs to America’s economic future.

"The decision implies that Congress ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 1977 when it enacted the Clean Air Act’s Section 202 regulating auto emissions, but somehow forgot to tell anybody. The same groups that sued EPA to regulate CO2 auto emissions under Section 202 will now sue EPA to set national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for CO2," said CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis. "However, in previous rulings, the Court has forbidden EPA to consider cost when setting NAAQS. As a result, the potential for economic harm is vast."

"The Court’s decision empowers EPA to take control of America’s global warming policy. This should certainly be a surprise to Congress, which has been vigorously debating the issue for years," noted CEI Director of Energy and Global Warming Policy Myron Ebell. "For an agency as unaccountable as EPA to be deputized in this way is bad news for the future of our country."

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) filed an amicus brief on behalf of seven climate scientists in support of EPA’s position.

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CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy organization dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.