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US Supreme Court upholds CSAPR

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World Coal,

The US Supreme Court has upheld the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), saying it was within the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority under the Clean Air Act. The regulation targets pollution that crosses state lines and uses a modified cap-and-trade system to limit emissions of SOx and NOx in states whose pollution blows into neighbouring jurisdiction.

Writing for the court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that the rule was a “permissible, workable and equitable interpretation” of the Clean Air Act.

The decision overturns a previous ruling against the rule by a federal appeals court in Washington and could prompt utilities to shutter coal-fired power plants, as it would require them to install more pollution control systems.

“[The] EPA continues to abuse the Clean Air Act, imposing overreaching regulations that promise little ‘gain’ with great ‘pain’ for US consumers and the broader US economy,” said Laura Sheehan, senior vice president of communications for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE). “With the Supreme Court’s ruling today, we are profoundly concerned about the costs and reliability impacts of rules like CSAPR and the absence of oversight in identifying and addressing such concerns.”

This ruling if the first of two currently under consideration by the Supreme Court: the judges are also considering whether the EPA has the authority to impose permit requirements on power plants and factories to cut back CO2 emissions. 

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