In Victory for Obama, Court Backs Rules on Power Plants

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from The New York Times,

The E.W. Brown Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant owned by Kentucky Utilities

The Supreme Court on Monday handed President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency a victory in its efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources like power plants, even as it criticized what it called the agency’s overreaching.

“E.P.A. is getting almost everything it wanted in this case,” Justice Antonin Scalia said in summarizing the decision from the bench. “It sought to regulate sources it said were responsible for 86 percent of all the greenhouse gases emitted from stationary sources nationwide. Under our holdings, E.P.A. will be able to regulate sources responsible for 83 percent of those emissions.”

Justice Scalia said the agency was free to do so as long as the sources in question “would need permits based on their emissions of more conventional pollutants.”

That part of the decision, which effectively sustained regulation of nearly all the sources the agency had sought to regulate, was decided by a 7-to-2 vote. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined that part of the decision.

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