Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Downwind NJ benefits as Supreme Court sides with EPA

In a decision viewed as a major victory for the Obama Administration (and a breath of fresh air for residents of downwind New Jersey), the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the authority of the Environmental Protection  Agency to regulate the smog from coal plants that drifts across state lines from 28 Midwestern and Appalachian states to the East Coast.  

The New York Times reports:
"The 6-to-2 ruling bolsters the centerpiece of President Obama’s environmental agenda: a series of new regulations aimed at cutting pollution from coal-fired power plants. Republicans and the coal industry have criticized the regulations, which use the Clean Air Act as their legal authority, as a “war on coal.” The industry has waged an aggressive legal battle to undo the rules.
"Legal experts said the decision, written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, signals that the Obama administration’s efforts to use the Clean Air Act to fight global warming could withstand legal challenges."

In New Jersey, strange bedfellow supported the EPA position

NJ Spotlight
"The issue created some unusual alliances with big energy companies, like Public Service Electric & Gas, and the State Chamber of Commerce, siding with environmentalists, such as the Sierra Club, and the federal agency in support of the rule."
NJ Spotlight notes that the Republican Administration of Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, won a lawsuit in May, 2013 "against a power plant on the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, long accused of polluting New Jersey’s air, an action that led to an agreement to shutter the plant.

Despite that, neither Governor Christie nor his Department of Environmental Protection had commented on yesterday's Supreme Court opinion by the time this post was published.  

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