Lawyers said the 6-2 Supreme Court decision to side with the EPA was a timely boost for the agency as it moves to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from the country’s power plants using a different section of the Clean Air Act.
David Marshall, senior counsel to the Clean Air Task Force, an environmental group involved in the case, said the court also recognized the flexibility the EPA has when implementing different aspects of the wide-ranging law.
“This could mean that future court decisions will allow EPA some measure of flexibility in implementing sections of the Clean Air Act involving very complex issues, as long as EPA is interpreting the statute in a reasonable and equitable manner,” Marshall said.
Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, added that the high court gave “considerable deference” to the agency’s standard-setting expertise, which will boost the agency as it prepares to issue what might be its most far-reaching regulations to date.
In June, the EPA is expected to unveil a proposal to curb pollution from existing power plants, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s climate change strategy.
Oh, dear! Let the games begin…