Supreme Court Rebukes Bush Administration Inaction on Global Warming

In a landmark decision in one of the most important environmental cases ever heard by the Supreme Court, the Court ruled yesterday that the Clean Air Act gives the U.S. EPA the authority to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) and other global warming pollutants from cars.

“This decision is a major turning point in our nation’s fight to protect future generations from global warming. For six years, the Bush Administration has toed the oil, coal, and auto industry line on global warming, but this is their day of reckoning,” said Doug O’Malley, field director for Environment New Jersey. “We can now finally start to put the many solutions we have at our finger tips to use in fighting global warming.” U.S. PIRG, the federal advocacy office for Environment New Jersey, is a petitioner in the case, along with a coalition of states, cities, and environmental organizations. The Court ordered the U.S. EPA to reconsider its decision not to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from cars. In the meantime, the ruling will have major implications for rules to reduce global warming pollution from cars in New Jersey and nine other states. Under the Clean Air Act, states may adopt California’s tailpipe emissions standards in lieu of minimum federal standards. Nine states have adopted California’s standards to reduce fleet-wide global warming emissions from new vehicles by 25 percent in model year 2009, rising to 30 percent in model year 2016. “The Bush Administration should immediately give New Jersey the green light to put our clean cars program into effect. Any delay is completely unjustified given today’s ruling,” said Emily Figdor, U.S. PIRG’s Global Warming Advocate.

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