Coal Tattoo

EPA wins another key court battle


There’s a big U.S. Supreme Court ruling out today that is a big win for the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency. Here’s the short of it from The New York Times:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate coal-plant pollution that wafts across state lines from 27 Midwestern and Appalachian states to eastern states.

The 6-to-2 ruling is a major environmental victory for the Obama administration, which has instituted several new E.P.A. regulations under the Clean Air Act in an effort to crack down on coal pollution. Republicans and the coal industry have criticized the effort as a “war on coal.”

The regulations covering cross-state air pollution, also known as “good neighbor” rules, have pitted Rust Belt and Appalachian states like Ohio and Kentucky, which produce heavy pollution, against East Coast states including New York and Connecticut.

The Times’ Coral Davenport notes:

Legal experts say the Supreme Court decision, written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, may signal that the Obama administration’s other efforts to use the Clean Air Act to push through major environmental curbs on coal pollution will prove successful.

In June, the E.P.A. is expected to unveil a sweeping new climate change proposal, using the authority of the Clean Air Act to rein in carbon pollution from coal plants.

You can read the full ruling yourself here. And let’s not forget that West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey was among those who filed an amicus brief against EPA’s rule — and even bragged that this was this was “the first time in at least two decades that a Mountain State attorney general has led the writing of a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court involving the EPA.”