Supremes to review Obama's climate-agenda overreach


(The Hill) -- The Supreme Court on Monday will hear challenges to an Obama administration greenhouse gas regulation.

The program in question is the Environmental Protection Agency's permitting process for industry sources, which includes coal-fired power plants, chemical facilities and oil refineries.

In 2010, the EPA said its emissions standards for passenger cars "triggered" a need to regulate greenhouse gas pollutants under permits for new facilities because the gases were deemed an endangerment to "public health or welfare."

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA is allowed to review permits to determine if necessary technologies that would help limit pollution are being used in the construction and powering of plants.

The question before the court on Monday is if EPA extended its authority by including greenhouse gases to the list of pollutants it may regulate under the permits.

Green groups like the Environmental Defense Fund say this regulation is one piece in the administration's much larger climate plan, and that the challenge before the court seeks to push construction of industry sources in the "wrong direction."

Sean Donahue of the defense fund said if the court rules against the EPA, it would be a substantial mistake.

"It would take away legal pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the biggest polluters," Donahue said.

Although the case doesn't directly impact Obama's controversial proposal to curb carbon emissions from existing power plants, it may hurt the president's ability to finalize regulations before time runs out.

If the Supreme Court were to rule against the EPA, it would reinforce Republicans' battle cry that the administration's climate policies are an abuse of power and, as Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) said, "reflect an unprecedented expansion of regulatory control over the U.S. economy." Read more via The Hill...

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