After a two-day hearing, a federal appeals court appeared inclined to uphold key parts of the Obama administration's first-ever rules for reducing greenhouse gases, but it wasn't clear whether the court would endorse the government's entire approach.
During three hours of oral arguments Tuesday, a three-judge panel for the Washington, D.C., appeals court made clear that industry challengers faced a uphill climb in attacking the Environmental Protection Agency's 2009 finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare.
That determination set the stage for EPA rules regulating carbon-dioxide emissions on cars, beginning with the 2012 model year, and new rules on permits for power plants and factories.
The EPA said greenhouse gases were probably responsible for global warming in the past half-century. It said the regulations would result in important reductions in emissions.
The challengers, including Republican lawmakers and trade groups representing the chemical, energy, farming and mining industries, said the regulations were burdensome, costly and not grounded in hard data.
The court said the EPA, as an expert agency, was entitled to deference from the courts, and its actions could be thrown out only if the agency exceeded its powers or acted in an arbitrary or capricious manner.
"You seem to be asking us to determine that the EPA is incorrect, but that is not the standard," Chief Judge David Sentelle told a lawyer for the challengers. Such a determination "would not be enough to win the case for you," he said....MORE
Thursday, March 1, 2012
"Court Likely to Uphold EPA CO2 Rules"
From the Wall Street Journal: