Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | July 9, 2008

U.S. Supreme Court rules that carbon dioxide is a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

In April 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that U.S. EPA has a right to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.   The case of Massachusetts v. EPA, which may have a long lasting impact after the end of the Bush Administration, put three important questions related to global warming before the highest court in the land. The first question is whether states have a right to sue the regulatory agency over this issue — whether they have “standing.” The court answered: yes. The second was whether carbon dioxide fits the Clean Air Act definition of an air pollutant, thus giving the EPA the right to regulate it. The court said: yes. The third was whether, given that right, the EPA has to regulate it. On that final question, the Supreme Court strongly urged the regulatory agency to honor its obligations to the American people and quit avoiding the issue. The opinion recommended that the regulatory agency reconsider its refusal to address the issue. To absolutely no surprise to anyone who has watched the Supreme Court over the past 8 years, the ruling split the court 5-4, with conservative justices dissenting. The Supreme Court’s opinion is at:


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