The Supreme Court Could Limit Obama's Executive Action Where It Matters Most: Climate Change

Orhan Cam/Shutterstock.com

Perhaps the unluckiest people in American politics are those battling climate change. On Monday, they will join allies at the Supreme Court to fight for an aspect of the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions precisely at the moment that the national political debate has become focused on President Obama's use of his executive authority — like EPA regulations. For many reasons, the timing couldn't be worse.

The case at hand, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, is complicated, so a quick primer is in order. The question at stake is whether the EPA has the right to consider greenhouse gas emissions in industrial permits, and if it has the right to change the levels of pollution that it would allow.

In Massachusetts v. the United States in 2007, the Supreme Court determined that greenhouse gasses, like carbon dioxide, are pollutants, which, under the Clean Air Act, the EPA has the authority to regulate. But the agency has dragged its feet on regulating carbon emissions, in part because such regulations are tricky to develop and in part because there hasn't been much political will to do so. One aspect of that regulation involves taking greenhouse gas pollution into consideration when the EPA grants upgrade permits. Want to build out your power plant? Under the authority of that 2007 decision, the EPA can also require you to reduce your carbon emissions.

Read more at The Wire.

(Image via Orhan Cam/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.