"A reduction in domestic emissions would slow the pace of global emissions increases, no matter what happens elsewhere," Justice John Paul Stevens said in the majority opinion. "EPA has offered no reasoned explanation for its refusal to decide whether greenhouse gases cause or contribute to climate change."
Apparently, Justice Stevens was not the only Supreme who thinks that the EPA has a responsibility to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. There were four others who agreed with him. From the AP Wire via Huffington Post:
The Supreme Court rebuked the Bush administration Monday for its inaction on global warming in a decision that could encourage faster action in Congress on climate change and lead to more fuel-efficient cars as early as next year.
The court, in a 5-4 ruling in its first case on climate change, declared that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.
The Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate those emissions from new cars and trucks under the landmark environment law, and the "laundry list" of reasons it has given for declining to do so are insufficient, the court said.
So what does this mean? Well, Bush will not be able to get away with inaction any longer. Also, I'm sure that this will assist the efforts in Congress to combat the coming climate catastrophe. Now that the EPA has a responsibility to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, why not allow Congress to decide how exactly to do this?
And oh yes, this is a huge boost for California, as well as ten other states who also want to regulate tailpipe emissions. Now that the EPA has a responsibility to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, they might want to take another look at approving these state programs to hold the automakers accountable for producing cars that don't completely annihilate our planet sooner.
So will this ruling give Democratic Congressional leaders a new opportunity to get Congress to take action on climate change? Will this ruling force Bush to act on the coming climate catastrophe? Will this give a legal boost to California's trail-blazing law to regulate tailpipe emissions? Well, I guess all we know now is that the only place left in this nation that continues to deny reality on climate change is the White House.
(Cross-posted at Calitics and MyDD)