The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule that forces cuts from plants in 28 states in the eastern half of the country, finding that it exceeds EPA’s powers under the Clean Air Act.
The 2-1 court decision Tuesday is a victory for industry groups, some states and GOP lawmakers, who alleged the rule would create economic burdens and force the closure of substantial numbers of coal-fired power plants.
The court decision instructs EPA to continue administering a less aggressive, George W. Bush-era rule called the Clean Air Interstate Rule pending the creation of a "valid replacement."
The judges said the Obama administration rule allows EPA to “impose massive emissions reduction requirements on upwind states without regard to the limits imposed by the statutory text.”
Several states, including Texas, Alabama and Georgia, challenged the rule alongside the National Mining Association, power companies and other parties. But other states such as New York and Delaware, as well as environmental groups, joined the case in defense of EPA.
I would expect the Obama Administration to appeal to the Supremes, but for now, the polluters get to pollute under Bush-era rules, that is, no limits. It's "less aggressive" the way a dead chicken is "less aggressive" than a live tiger. The limits are simple: states can basically put out whatever pollution they want to tolerate themselves, and it's not "interstate air".
Meanwhile, let's continue to enjoy the hottest year on record in the US.