Supreme Court Blocks Obama’s Limits on Power Plants

29-Jun-2015

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday blocked one of the Obama administration’s most ambitious environmental initiatives, an Environmental Protection Agency regulation meant to limit emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants.

Industry groups and some 20 states had challenged the E.P.A.’s decision to regulate the emissions, saying the agency had failed to take into account the punishing costs its rule would impose.


The Clean Air Act required the regulation to be “appropriate and necessary.” The challengers said the agency had run afoul of that law by deciding to regulate the emissions without first undertaking a cost-benefit analysis.

Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote: “It is not rational, never mind ‘appropriate,’ to impose billions of dollars in economic costs in return for a few dollars in health or environmental benefits. Statutory context supports this reading.” (by ADAM LIPTAK and CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times)

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