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Published: Wednesday 21 August, 2013

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Supreme Court has made it clear that greenhouse gases can be regulated like any other air pollutant.

has offered no reasoned explanation for its refusal to decide whether greenhouse gases cause or contribute to climate change, said Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the majority. action was arbitrary, capricious . or otherwise, not in accordance with law. ruling directs the EPA to either adopt regulations or apply sound scientific reasoning why it should not move forward. Analysts believe it will be difficult for the EPA to follow the latter course.

The decision delivers fresh ammunition to California as it duels with automakers in a lower federal court over whether the state can independently regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.

Supreme Court spanked the EPA, boasted California Attorney General Jerry Brown, who is defending the state 2002 tailpipe emissions law in federal court.

The ruling the first of its kind coming out of the high court related to global warming also has national implications. California is one of a dozen states to enact laws requiring reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from tailpipes. The new Democraticcontrolled Congress also is crafting legislation to set national standards.

Nationally, environmentalists say the ruling could be incorporated in challenging other federal agencies that claim greenhouse gases are beyond the scope of the Endangered Species Act.

The narrow win both in scope and in votes from the bench underscores the long road ahead as California seeks to curb pollution. The court did not spell out how or when the EPA should impose regulations.

The ruling does not require the EPA to grant California a federal waiver so that the state can impose regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from tailpipes. California application for a waiver has been pending for two years, but analysts believe the court ruling will force the EPA to act on it.

In his dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia said: court alarm over global warming may or may not be justified, but it ought not distort the outcome of this litigation . No matter how important the policy issues at stake, this court has no business substituting its own desired outcome for the reasoned judgment of the responsible agency EPA. officials and environmentalists believe the ruling from the high court will erase any doubt that the state will prevail in its legal confrontation with automakers, particularly given the opinion released by Stevens.

the death of the car companies case, sa canadian goose jacket prices id David Doniger, who oversees climate change policies for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The EPA and automakers have said controls on greenhouse gas emissions would be de facto fuel mileage standards a responsibility Congress specifically assigned to the Department of Transportation, or DOT.

Stevens appears to validate California stance that it is a pollution not mileage issue.

that DOT sets mileage standards in no way licenses EPA to shirk its environmental responsibilities, Stevens wrote.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers refused to discuss the pending litigation, limiting its reaction yesterday to a statement calling for a national approach and promising to work with Congress and the administration. The statement said automakers are committed to offering more alternative fuel vehicles and highermileage traditional cars as a way to reduce dependence on oil and reduce emissions.

Jerry Taylor, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, which advocates limits on government, said the automakers should not surrender yet. The high court, he said, suggest any change in policy. Constitution, he said.

But the ruling suggests that the EPA needs to have a strong scientific basis for not regulating greenhouse gases, instead of a list of notsocredible excuses.

Joining Stevens in the majority were Justices Anthony Kennedy canadian goose jacket prices , David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented along with Scalia.

Despite the narrow margin, the victory in the highest court is expected to invigorate California as it presses ahead with related initiatives.

The state has adopted the nation toughest broadbased attack on global warming, requiring a gradual roll back of all greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels, a 25 percent reduction by 2020. California is counting on its 2002 law targeting tailpipe emissions alone to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 20 percent.

ruling will lead to a better quality of life for all Californians, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said. state remains committed to carrying on the fight against global warming because the political will is here and Californians demand action. along with numerous states and nations, is moving aggressively to curb global warming by limiting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and industry. Left unchecked, global warming will produce extreme weather patterns that could result i canadian goose jacket prices n drought, tinderbox forests and food shortages, as well as harm fish and wildlife, many climatologists agree.

Frustrated with inaction at the federal level, California joined Massachusetts, the lead state, and 10 other states to press the lawsuit seeking to force the Bush administration to act.

In his majority opinion, Justice Stevens delivered for California. it may be true that regulating motor vehicle emissions will not by itself reverse global warming, it by no means follows that we lack jurisdiction to decide whether EPA has a duty to take steps to slow or reduce it, Stevens wrote.

The administration issued a noncommittal response when questioned about its next step.

agency is reviewing the decision and will move forward in a deliberate manner, said Jennifer Wood, an EPA press secretary.

Scott Segal, an attorney who handles national cases for refineries and utilities, warned that the ruling could backfire. It leaves the door open for EPA and Congress to preempt California cleanair laws as part of a proposed national standard on greenhouse gas emissions, he said. canadian goose jacket prices