Sunday, December 23, 2012

Appeals court upholds EPA authority over emissions

An appeals court on Thursday denied a request from industry groups to rehear a case in which the court upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate change regulations. The industry challenge failed to win a majority vote by judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for an en banc (before the entire bench) rehearing of Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA, which sought to challenge the EPA’s power to address greenhouse gas emissions.  In their dissenting opinions, Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Janice Rogers Brown attacked the majority decision with flourish, detailing grievances with this summer’s ruling. And like the original opinion, one judge again cited a Schoolhouse Rock song, this time turning to “Three Ring Government.” In June, the court deemed the EPA “unambiguously correct” in the legal reasoning behind its regulation of greenhouse gases. A three-judge panel issued a sweeping opinion strenuously backing the agency’s finding that emissions pose a danger to public health and welfare, and upheld several subsequent regulations for vehicles and new industrial plants. In Thursday’s order, Chief Justice David Sentelle, along with Justices Judith Rogers and David Tatel, defended their decision in the case and said the policies are “undoubtedly matters of exceptional importance.” In turning back the petition for rehearing filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the State of Alaska, Peabody Energy, Southeastern Legal Foundation, the National Association of Manufacturers and others, the court said the legal issues were straightforward...more

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