The Supreme Court on Monday said a coalition of states and environmentalists can’t sue power plants over their greenhouse gas emissions, because the EPA is already on the job.
In the 8-0 decision siding with the Obama administration and major utilities, the court ruled that the EPA’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act displaced the rights of states and conservation groups under federal “nuisance” laws to push for limits of specific utilities’ emissions.
The case pitted the Obama administration — on behalf of the government-owned utility Tennessee Valley Authority — and four other major utilities against six states, New York City and conservation groups who sought to use federal common law to force the nation’s biggest utilities to clamp down on their global warming emissions.
But the court affirmed that climate change is the EPA’s turf — even if the agency hasn’t yet issued plant-specific pollution rules — and that plaintiffs can take the EPA to court if they think the agency isn’t following the law.
The EPA is facing a court deadline to finalize new greenhouse gas emissions limits for power plants by May 2012. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that common law wouldn’t be displaced until EPA actually set those standards, but the Supreme Court disagreed.
Goddamn SCOTUS. Sure, let's just fart around on controlling green house emissions while the planet burns. Also, notch another victory for Republican president Obama and big business. Fucking assholes!