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Supreme Court Upholds Most EPA Rules On Greenhouse Gases 109

UnknowingFool writes In Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, the Supreme Court ruled against the EPA on some limits to greenhouse gases but also upheld other limits. In a 5-4 partial decision, the high court ruled that EPA overstepped their authority in requiring permits only for greenhouse gases for new and modified facilities using the Clean Air act. Such regulatory action can only be granted by Congress. But in the same case on a 7-2 decision, the court ruled that the EPA can enforce greenhouse gas limits on facilities that already require permits for other air pollutants. This leaves intact most of the new regulations proposed by the Obama administration earlier this month as many coal plants produce other air pollutants that can be regulated by the EPA.
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Supreme Court Upholds Most EPA Rules On Greenhouse Gases

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  • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Monday June 23, 2014 @05:35PM (#47300691) Journal

    And NOT enforcing, say, banking or clean air regulations.

    Existing regulations (as approved by Congress) is one thing. Adding new categories to those regulations and demanding they be enforced minus legislative oversight is another.

  • by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Monday June 23, 2014 @05:49PM (#47300807)

    If you have rules that are too detailed for Congress, then those are rules which should not exist at the federal level.

    A lot of legislation (at all levels) is simple wording, with an understanding that an agency more equipped to work out the minutiae will do so.

    Those administrative agencies (like, say, the EPA) figure out that minutiae, and those details (functionally speaking) become law. Chevron v EPA is a cornerstone of administrative law. [Congress made broad stroke laws, EPA enforced it as they interpreted it, Chevron sued, and SCOTUS made clear that regulatory agency administration is - pretty much - law.]

  • by tranquilidad ( 1994300 ) on Monday June 23, 2014 @05:56PM (#47300849)

    Actually, it is Congress' obligation to be extremely specific in the laws they write. The nondelegation doctrine [] is an important concept in American jurisprudence.

    J.W. Hampton, Jr., & Co. v. United States [] helped establish the rules under which power can be delegated, essentially stating that Congress has to establish an "intelligible standard" for the executive or legislative branch.

    Congress can't simply tell the executive branch, "Hey, you guys control pollution so we can have a clear sky." Congress has to establish an intelligible standard upon which an administrative agency can build regulations AND Congress has to grant the power to the agency to establish those rules. Typical statutes might read, " agency is empowered to institute regulations in support of this statute."

    The function of the executive agency was not to create rules but, rather, to faithfully enforce the laws of the United States. The fact that Congress has found numerous ways in order to delegate its power to the executive agency doesn't change the fundamental design of the system. This delegation of power is what's lead everyone to believe the executive branch holds more power than it really does.

    The most unfortunate thing about Congress' abdication of power to the executive branch using so many specific delegations is that we've created a situation in aggregate where the executive has an almost blanket delegation of Congressional power; a delegation that would be unconstitutional if granted via a single Congressional action.

  • by riverat1 ( 1048260 ) on Monday June 23, 2014 @06:32PM (#47301129)

    There is nothing inherently anti-big business in the recommended solutions, just big business (especially the fossil fuel industry) as it is currently practiced. There are plenty of big businesses that are more or less environmentally responsible and they don't get that much attention for it.

The wages of sin are high but you get your money's worth.