Federal appeals court upholds EPA's greenhouse gas rule

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s limits on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The panel ruled that EPA’s interpretation of the Clean Air Act was correct and opponents did not have the legal right to challenge the Timing and Tailoring Rules and denied the remainder of the petitions.

In February, EPA proposed to keep regulations for GHG permitting thresholds for the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V Operating Permit programs as they are, but proposed steps that would pinpoint only the largest emitters of GHGs.

The rule was met by 60 legal challenges, including filings from 17 states – including Alabama, Texas and Virginia - asking to review the regulations.

The court ruled that the state petitioners failed to cite any record evidence suggesting that they are adversely affected by global climate change. The court also declined petitioners from industry because there are other cases already before different panels, including a lawsuit from the Utility Air Regulatory Group.

While many are backing the court's decision, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said the ruling was a bad move for the economy.

"After enduring 40 consecutive months of higher than 8 percent unemployment, we cannot afford the EPA's continued expansion of red tape that is slowing economic growth and threatening to entangle millions of small businesses," Upton said in a statement."EPA's rules will impose billions of dollars in compliance and delay costs and represent an unprecedented expansion of EPa authority that has the potential to affect virtually every sector of the economy and touch every household."

To read the court’s ruling, click here.

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