As Rmuse reported, once again Republicans are threatening to hold their breath until they turn blue because they want the quality of our air to be secondary to the big profits corporations get from greenhouse gases.
The Congressional Romper Room’s day got worse with a very mixed and ultimately narrow SCOTUS ruling that gave a tiny green light to polluting for profit. Since Republican children have a meltdown every time they don’t get absolutely everything they want, this ruling will only give them an easy excuse to have another meltdown.
At issue was whether the Clean Air Act allows the EPA permit powers to regulate greenhouse emissions by big polluters like oil refineries, power plants and factories. Predictably, the Court was split along ideological lines with Justice Kennedy once again siding with the Roberts wing of the Court instead of the American people. The Roberts wing said the only way greenhouse gas emissions could be considered a part of the permit process is if a facility emits other pollutants as well. Members of the global warming deniers cult will undoubtedly cheer the ruling since this ruling restricts the EPA’s ability to address global warming.
Joined by the other corporatist justices, Justice Scalia wrote with typical flourish:
EPA asserts newfound authority to regulate millions of small sources — including retail stores, offices, apartment buildings, shopping centers, schools, and churches — and to decide, on an ongoing basis and without regard for the thresholds prescribed by Congress, how many of those sources to regulate. We are not willing to stand on the dock and wave goodbye as EPA embarks on this multiyear voyage of discovery,
That said, the context of this ruling’s effect on efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions matters. The EPA estimated its regulations would reduce greenhouse emissions by 86%. Even with this gift to the global warming denier’s cult the EPA projects that it can still reduce greenhouse emissions by 83%.
By a vote of 7-2 (Alito and Thomas dissenting) the Court rejected the corporate interests’ claim that pollution sources cannot be regulated for greenhouse gases under the “prevention of serious deterioration” or PSD program. Under the PSD program, operators must show they are using the best available technology to reduce emissions. Over 300 facilities have applied for permits.
According to The Hill, EPA spokesperson Liz Purchia was pleased with the ruling.
The Supreme Court’s decision is a win for our efforts to reduce carbon pollution because it allows EPA, states and other permitting authorities to continue to require carbon pollution limits in permits for the largest pollution sources,
The ruling does not affect the rules President Obama proposed on June 2nd, which call for a 30% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. These regulations fall under a different section of the Clean Air Act.