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Democrats file brief backing EPA in U.S. Supreme Court climate case -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – A panoramic view of Washington’s Supreme Court, U.S. October 13th 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photograph

By Valerie Volcovici

WASHINGTON (Reuters] – On Tuesday, a large number of Democrats in Congress filed a U.S. Supreme Court Brief supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases under a landmark Environmental Law. This case is due to be heard next month by the justices.

The 196 Democrats – which includes 29 senators and 163 representatives – submitted the friend-of the-court briefing in litigation brought by West Virginia, a coal producer state and other industry groups. They sought to limit the EPA’s ability to use Clean Air Act regulations to control power plant carbon emission.

In its last filing, the EPA stated that the states and the industry had not challenged any of the rules.

On February 28, the Supreme Court will hear arguments. The case is being heard by the conservative 6-3 majority.

Their brief stated that the Democrats said that Congress had “explicitly confirmed” last year the agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gases. A bipartisan vote was held on a bill, which reversed the rollback by former President Donald Trump of methane regulations. The legislation’s authorisation under Clean Air Act was based on a narrow and inaccurate interpretation.

Kathy Castor (chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis) stated in a statement that the Environmental Protection Agency had used its authority for half a century to tackle air pollution.

Castor said, “The Supreme Court repeatedly recognized this authority pursuant to the Clean Air Act. But now, polluters, and Republicans, are calling it into doubt with fake, cynical arguments.”

A number of states, industry associations, and coal interests asked the Supreme Court for review of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, to overturn a Trump-era rule that restricted regulation of carbon emissions from power stations.

It is a question of whether the EPA has power to interpret broadly the Clean Air Act and regulate carbon emissions from existing power stations. This authority was confirmed by the lower court.

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