WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court yesterday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) greenhouse gas rules limiting carbon-dioxide emissions, Reuters reports.
The ruling opens the door for regulations affecting vehicles, coal-burning power plants and industrial facilities, a major victory for the Obama administration.
The court ruled unanimously that the EPA€™s determination that carbon dioxide is a public danger and its decision to limit emissions from cars and light trucks were "neither arbitrary nor capricious."
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the ruling reaffirms the agency "followed both the science and the law in taking common-sense, reasonable actions to address the very real threat of climate change by limiting greenhouse gas pollution from the largest sources."
Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, a long-time critic of the EPA€™s climate change regulations, blasted the court ruling. "EPA's massive and complicated regulatory barrage will continue to punish job creators and further undermine our economy," he said.
The ruling means the EPA can now limit carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants as well as establish new vehicle emission standards.
"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, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group.
Industry groups said the EPA's regulations will prove burdensome and lead to job cuts.
"The EPA's decision to move forward with these regulations is one of the most costly, complex and burdensome regulations facing manufacturers," said Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers. "These regulations will harm their ability to hire, invest and grow."