SCOTUS to Hear Environmental Case

The Supreme Court is set to hear a case over whether or not the Bush administration is required by the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. Massachusetts and eleven other states are joined by several cities and groups including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth in arguing that federal law requires the regulation of CO2 emissions from automobiles.

Under the Clean Air Act, carbon dioxide is not considered a pollutant and thus limiting CO2 emissions is completely voluntary. The appellants, however, argue that the connection between CO2 emissions and global warming warrants the strict regulation of emissions from autmobiles, factories, and power plants. 

A decision in favor of the environmentalists would allow the EPA to completely overstep its authority under the Clean Air Act. The law was designed to regulate pollutants, chemicals that make the air unhealthy. Carbon dioxide is clearly not a pollutant, and the link the EPA and Greenpeace attempt to create between CO2 and unhealthy air is simply another ploy to increase federal control. Requiring industries to limit CO2 emissions would be very costly to businesses that are already forced to contend with a plethora of environmental regulations.