The U.S. Supreme Court ordered Bush administration environmental officials to reconsider their refusal to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions, giving a boost to advocates of stronger action against global warming.
The justices, voting 5-4, today said the Environmental Protection Agency didn’t follow the requirements of the Clean Air Act in 2003 when it opted not to order cuts in carbon emissions from new cars and trucks.
While this doesn’t force the Administration to do anything, this will put a great deal of pressure upon the Bush Administration to step up on regulations concerning emissions. The big loser in this will be the automobile industry, who had resisted mandatory emission limits. However, in the long run, this may not be the end of all for the car industry. Simply put, American industry will have to adapt and change to meet the new reality, that politically, this nation is turning “greener”.
The vote was 5-4 with Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter and Stephen Breyer joiningStevens in the majority, while Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented. In writing his dissent, Chief Justice Roberts stated, the court lacked constitutional power to second-guess the agency at the behest of states and environmental groups. The majority’s reasoning “has caused us to transgress the proper — and properly limited — role of the courts in a democratic society.”
Robert’s dissent is a view many conservatives may happen to agree with, and feel the Court may have overstepped its bounds, but the issue may not be as cut and dry as it does look at the ability of the federal legislature to address the global warming issue, rather than the EPA exercising broad control over the policies of the nation concerning emissions.