Supreme Court Thwarts Texas Policymakers on EPA Ruling
In a blow to Texas’ top policymakers, the U.S. Supreme Court handed the Obama administration an important victory Tuesday in its effort to reduce power plant pollution that blows downwind and leads to unhealthy air.
The decision caps a decades-long effort by the Environmental Protection Agency to find a legally acceptable way to ensure that states are good neighbors and don’t contribute to pollution problems in downwind states, where environmental officials can do nothing to control it.
In a 6-2 decision, the court upheld a rule adopted by the EPA in 2011 to limit emissions that create smog and soot that drifts into the air above states along the East Coast.
The ruling means that the polluting states — including Texas, whose solicitor general had argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of 14 states challenging the EPA rule — will be forced to reduce smokestack pollution that sullies the air in downwind states. Industry and upwind states had fought the effort and painted it as another attempt by the administration to shut down coal-fired power plants.
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