In what can only be called stunning news, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 today that states and environmental groups can sue the EPA over its unwillingness to regulate greenhouse-gas-causing auto emissions.
Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts have written a strongly-worded dissent that goes after the decision on both a policy and a scientific basis. The essence of their argument is that if Congress had intended the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide it would have said so, and that carbon dioxide is not an “air pollutant” and therefore doesn’t fall under the currently enacted EPA legislation. Further, Scalia et al., think the science is sufficiently uncertain that the EPA is justified in waiting to make a decision.
The majority disagreed, and ruled accordingly.
This is big, market-moving stuff, because while the EPA is not now required to regulate, it will be under immense pressure to do so. You will see a national standard be touted for greenhouse-gas emission, and the decision is also likely to take down the share prices of coal-reliant power plants.