White House expected to feel the heat from Supreme Court's ruling on global warming
The high court rules that the EPA does has the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emmisions.
(Page 2 of 2)
But as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported, crafting state laws to lower greenhouse gas emissions can be a complicated and contentious matter.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
"In its original form, the [Washington State] bill would have set state goals for cutting greenhouse gases, created limits for how much carbon dioxide new power plants could release, created a state climate office, and required other actions to reduce pollution that's contributing to climate change.
"Since then, the legislation has morphed into a Franken-bill with new rules tacked onto it and major rewrites. It was then patched together into something approximating its original form and on Monday, it was tacked onto another piece of legislation to help ensure its survival."
This week's court decision also offered considerable grist for editorial writers.
An editorial in The Wall Street Journal took strong exception to the slim high-court majority (it was a 5 to 4 decision).
"... a narrow majority managed to diminish the rules of judicial standing, rewrite the definition of 'pollutant' under the Clean Air Act, and dramatically curtail the decision-making authority of the executive branch.
"The five Supreme climatologists granted Al Gore's fondest wish by declaring that 'the harms associated with climate change are serious and well recognized'."
But The New York Times (and many of the other major newspapers that weighed in) saw the decision as good news. In its lead editorial, the Times wrote:
"It is a victory for a world whose environment seems increasingly threatened by climate change. It is a vindication for states like California that chose not to wait for the federal government and acted to limit emissions that contribute to global warming. And it should feed the growing momentum on Capitol Hill for mandatory limits on carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas."
Internet bloggers found plenty to ponder as well.
Scientific American's Christopher Mims wrote in the editor's blog:
"It's significant that the court did not throw out the case based on standing – that is, whether the states and cities that were suing the EPA had a right to do so in the first place ... [T]he court declared, in effect, that these cities and states were in some way potentially injured by the actions of the EPA – essentially an admission that the court believes that anthropogenic global warming is at least a possibility."
The Supreme Court ruling comes just as the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was set to release a major report April 6 that, among other things, will outline some of the regional impacts of global warming around the world.