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Finally the Supreme Court has stepped in and done something instead of sidestepping an important issue by citing impediments to standing as the minority in this case would have done. The issue, broadly speaking, was global warming, specifically whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles. It also ruled that the EPA must regulate these emissions -- or "cannot sidestep its authority" to do so -- unless it can prove that global warming is not caused by greenhouse gases or provide other scientific bases for its refusal to follow through.
President Bush had before this insisted that the administration did not have the "right" to regulate CO2 and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act and wouldn't regulate even if it did. But what is clean air but air free of excess greenhouse gases that trap heat, warming the planet and killing of hundreds of species, potentially our own?!
This ruling might even open the way to a ruling forcing the EPA to regulate CO2 emissions froom power plants, which it has steadfastly refused to do up till now.
Had what turned out to be the minority four justices won the vote with a fifth justice, the case -- Massachusetts v EPA -- would have been thrown out, MA having no standing as plaintiffs according to Justices Alito, Scalia and Roberts as well as Thomas. Chief Justice Roberts argued that the court should never have even addressed the issue. And where would that have left us? Back in limbo with NO regulation and no CO2 controls and the country and world burning up! Will they NEVER learn???
Well, it is only a first step. Now the Bush EPA has to DO something, build some regulations with teeth and efficacy, and enforce them. How much you wanna bet that little is actually done before another court case has to be filed? But I'll be optimistic and hope that the professionals at the EPA, the non-Bush appointees, are there in the background actually doing environmental work and they will continue to do the Right Thing, and maybe, just maybe, have some beneficial effect this time.
Did anyone catch the ALS show on PBS Frontline tonight? I missed the first half but saw the second half, unaware that it had started on the half hour just before. Maybe it was only shown on WGBY, I dunno...Anyone from MA?
Posted by pamwagg at April 3, 2007 09:35 PM