Supreme Court to decide if CO2 is a “pollutant”

Well, I am not sure if the Clean Air Act has all the right tools to regulate CO2, but the kind of vehicle-to-vehicle and plant-to-plant focus that the Clean Air Act brings could be a good starting point. If the court decides in favor of the states, and the EPA can get its rule making together, we can start seeing regulation in 5 years. I am not sure if this is early enough, and it is definitely insufficient. A “pollutant” as ubiquitous as CO2 needs a a comprehensive national and global policy effort even bigger than the Montreal Protocol to be effective. Kyoto was meant to be a starting point, but is stalled at the moment.

Forcing motor vehicles to lower their emissions and increase efficiency is a no-brainer. If it takes the Clean Air Act to make this happen, I am all for it! But this will not really address the power plants that are the other huge contributor, most of the existing plants will be grandfathered in and as we know from previous experience, these grandaddies are bionic and immortal!

Any chance that the Supreme Court will find in favor of this addition? I don’t think so. I predict 6-3 for the government on this one.

Supreme Court to Hear Key Environment Case – New York Times

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider whether the Bush administration must regulate carbon dioxide to combat global warming, setting up what could be one of the court’s most important decisions on the environment. A dozen states, a number of cities and various environmental groups asked the court to take up the case after a divided lower court ruled against them. They argue that the Environmental Protection Agency is obligated to limit carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles under the federal Clean Air Act because as the primary ”greenhouse” gas causing a warming of the earth, carbon dioxide is a pollutant.

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