A federal appeals court has issued an 82-page ruling which concludes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the right to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from power plants and vehicles.
The three judge panel unanimously upheld the EPA's position that carbon dioxide, contained in GHGs, are a danger to public health and that the environmental agency can regulate them under the exisiting Clean Air Act.
Over 60 lawsuits had been brought against the EPA by companies, business groups and states, including Texas and Virginia, to block the agency from instituting the emissions regulations. The lawsuit petitioners questioned the EPA's authority to institute the GHG standards.
This ruling signifies that not only can the EPA regulate emissions, but also that it can move forward with the national limits it proposed in March for carbon pollution from new power plants. The EPA will also be able to move forward with finalizing its second round of clean car standards which will reduce new cars' carbon pollution by half, as well as double fuel efficiency to 54.5 mpg by 2025.
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