Tuesday, June 26, 2012

U.S. Court of Appeals Upholds EPA's Tailoring Rule

The court sees no problem granting power to the bureaucrats that was never intended and wasn't in the law.
I can see part of the argument for the auto emissions and the Mass v EPA re-hash but the Tailoring rule is just makin' stuff up.
This is going to the Supremes but for now You just keep me hangin' on.
From Bloomberg:

EPA Greenhouse-Gas Rules Upheld by U.S. Appeals Court
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s limits on industrial emissions of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide were upheld by a federal appeals court.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled today that the EPA’s interpretation of the Clean Air Act was “unambiguously correct” and that the opponents don’t have the legal right to challenge the so-called timing and tailoring rules.

The panel considered challenges to the agency’s finding that greenhouse gases are pollutants that endanger human health and to rules determining when states and industries must comply with regulations curtailing their use.

Companies such as Massey Energy Co., business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and states led by Texas and Virginia sought to stop the agency through more than 60 lawsuits. Some argued that the EPA relied on biased data from outside scientists.

The agency had “substantial record evidence” that greenhouse gases probably caused the climate to warm over the last several decades, according to the ruling.

‘Our Role’
“In the end, petitioners are asking us to re-weigh the scientific evidence before EPA and reach our own conclusion,” the panel wrote in the 82-page opinion. “This is not our role.”

In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the EPA had authority to regulate greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane under the Clean Air Act if the agency declared them a public danger. The EPA issued an endangerment finding in December 2009, clearing the way for regulation of emissions from power plants, factories and other sources linked to global climate change.

“This is a huge victory for our children’s future,” David Doniger, senior attorney for the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement. “These rulings clear the way for EPA to keep moving forward under the Clean Air Act to limit carbon pollution from motor vehicles, new power plants and other big industrial sources.”

The lawsuits were consolidated, with arguments divided into three parts and held over two days in February. The parties argued over an agency finding that greenhouse gases are pollutants that endanger human health. The judges also heard arguments against a 2010 rule on motor-vehicle emissions that opponents said improperly sets greenhouse-gas standards for stationary sources, such as steel mills and power plants.

Tailoring Rule
The court considered challenges to the EPA’s tailoring rule, which limits the businesses covered by carbon regulation and phases in controls. The agency plans to phase in industrial polluters covered by the carbon rules through 2016.

The EPA argued in court filings that the tailoring rule is acceptable under the Clean Air Act and necessary to avoid states being overrun with permit requests.

The regulations require only the biggest emitters, such as power plants and oil refiners, to obtain state carbon permits before building or upgrading facilities. State officials will determine pollution controls case by case....MORE
Here's the opinion (82 page PDF)