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Published: Friday 19 July, 2013

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The appeals courts decision on four major EPA initiatives to regulate carbon emissions was a clear legal victory for the Obama White House and a setback for some industry groups and states including Texas.

It was a big win as well for embattled EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, whose controversial endangerment finding for greenhousegas emissions kicked off the legal battle royale in December 2009. Her finding followed the US Supreme Courts 2007 Massachusetts v. EPA ruling, in which the court found that carbon emissions could potentially be regulated under the federal Clean Air Act.

After that first finding, the EPA proceeded to issue other regulations to curtail carbon emissions. First came the Tailpipe Rule, in 2010, that sets carbon emission standards for cars and light trucks. With its debut, carbon emissions officially became a regulated pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

The EPA went on to determine that the Clean Air Act required the agency to regulate emissions from major stationary sources of carbon pollution, such as power plants and cement factories. Next, it determined that it would not impose a blanket rule, but rather would implement its regulations over time starting with the largest smokestack emitters, those exceeding 75,000 tons or more of greenhousegas emissions per year.

The courts ruling rejected challenges to all four key EPA regulations. Backers of the Tailpipe Rule, which include US automakers, were thrilled to have one set of emissions mandates not many states all trying to regulate vehicle emissions.

Automakers are already producing almost 300 highly fuelefficient models, so we have made a huge investment in technologies and want to sell these models in high numbers, said Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, an association of 12 vehicle manufacturers including Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors, in a statement. A single national fuel economy/carbon dioxide program is among our top policy priorities to avoid the chaos arising from several different regulatory bodies each setting their own standards.

From the start, the EPA mandates were opposed by other big industry groups and by lawmakers in Congress from coalmining and other energyproducing states. They predicted such regulations would harm the economy.

Among them was the US Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has long warned that regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act would be bad for jobs and local economies, Steven J. Law, the chambers chief legal officer and general counsel, said in a 2010 statement that called on the EPA to reconsider its endangerment finding.

When EPA did not, several states, led by Texas and an industry group called the Coalition for Responsible Regulation reportedly backed by the coal industry, filed suit. Other industry groups, including the chamber and National Petrochemical Refiners Association, lent their support to the legal challenge, too.

The appeals court ruling by three judges appointed by both Democratic and Republican presidents refuted claims that the EPA had, among other things, misinterpreted the Clean Air Act and had been arbitrary and capricious in implementing regulatory limits on carbon emissions and requiring emitters to have permits.

We conclude, the judges ruled, that 1 the Endangerment Finding and Tailpipe Rule are neither arbitrary nor capricious; 2 EPAs interpretation of designer clothing men the governing Clean Air Act provisions is unambiguously co designer clothing men rrect; and 3 no petitioner has standing to challenge the Timing and Tailoring Rules.

In their ruling, the three judges also concluded that EPAs initial endangerment finding was consistent with the high courts 2007 decision. It was enough to buoy the EPAs longembattled administrator. Circuit found that EPA followed both the science and the law in taking commonsense, reasonable actions to address the very real threat of climate change by limiting greenhousegas pollution from the designer clothing men largest sources, Ms. Jackson said in an emailed statement.

Environmental groups liked the win, too.

Todays ruling by the court confirms that EPAs common sense solutions to address climate pollution are firmly anchored in science and law, Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund, said in a statement. Today is a good day for climate progress in America and for the thin layer of atmosphere that sustains life on Earth.

Tuesdays ruling is probably not the end of the story. It could be appealed to the US Supreme Court. But the unanimity of the appeals court judges makes a successful appeal less likely, environmental forces argued.

These rulings clear the way for EPA to keep moving forward under the Clean Air Act to limit carbon pollution from motor vehicles, new power plants, and other big industrial sources, said David Doniger, senior attorney for the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Still, lawyers for Coalition for Responsible Regulation were not ready to rule out an appeal and left their options open.

Were still studying the 82page opinion, Patrick Day, counsel for Coalition for Responsible Regulation, said in an interview. Obviously were disappointed with the outcome. What happens from here is too soon to say. We need to review all our options. designer clothing men