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SCOTUS: Clean Air Act Trumps Emissions Lawsuits 303

Posted by Soulskill
from the laying-down-the-law dept.
schwit1 writes "The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a global warming lawsuit against five big power companies, its most important environmental ruling since 2007 and a victory for the utilities and the Obama administration. The justices unanimously overturned a ruling by a US appeals court that the lawsuit now involving six states can proceed in an effort to force the coal-burning plants to cut emissions of gases that contribute to climate change. In a defeat for environmentalists, the Supreme Court agreed with the companies that regulating greenhouse gases should be left to the Environmental Protection Agency under the clean air laws. The ruling stemmed from a 2004 lawsuit claiming the five electric utilities have created a public nuisance by contributing to climate change. The lawsuit wanted a federal judge to order them to cut their carbon dioxide emissions."
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SCOTUS: Clean Air Act Trumps Emissions Lawsuits

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  • Re:Whelp (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 20, 2011 @04:34PM (#36505452)

    Where did you get that from the story? You think this is actually a step towards strengthening regulation?

  • Re:Yes, the EPA (Score:5, Informative)

    by jhoger (519683) on Monday June 20, 2011 @04:39PM (#36505506) Homepage

    The complainants were smacked down unanimously simply because suing the power companies is the wrong target. They are free to sue EPA once it hands down regs, and SCOTUS made this clear. I'm not sure why they thought anything different would happen here.

  • by canajin56 (660655) on Monday June 20, 2011 @06:37PM (#36506736)
    It's number two. The states were suing companies over power plants operated OUTSIDE those states, even though those companies were complying with state and federal laws. The states were arguing that producing CO2 is a "public nuisance" and trying to get them to reduce emissions across the entire country, not just within their own borders. The supreme court ruled that that's the EPA's job, and that if they are not satisfied with the EPA's rules (not yet released) then there are legal channels in place to appeal those rules. They are just still under review and so cannot be appealed until they exist.

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