A Supreme Court decision on Tuesday upholding U.S. rules that curb air pollution that floats across state lines was seen as a boost for the Environmental Protection Agency’s upcoming plan to crack down on carbon emissions from power plants.
The top court backed a federal regulation requiring 28 Midwestern and Appalachian states that cause smog and soot-forming emissions to limit pollution from their smoke stacks before it wafts downwind, mostly to eastern states.
The D.C. Circuit court in 2012 had sided with the industry and certain states that said the EPA exceeded its authority by issuing a national plan.
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 Vitter of Louisiana, the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, criticized the ruling.
“This allows (the EPA) to completely ignore the concept of cooperative federalism that requires them to work with states in crafting plans to address air pollution,” Vitter said.
But Vickie Patton, general counsel to the Environmental Defense Fund and an intervener in the case, said the ruling ensured that air quality is protected even if certain states refuse to comply or delay their compliance efforts.