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For Immediate Release, October 15, 2013

Contact:  Kevin Bundy, (415) 436-9682,

Supreme Court Rejects Most Challenges to EPA Authority to Curb Greenhouse Pollution

High Court to Review Limits on Factory, Power Plant Emissions

WASHINGTONThe U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a series of challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to curb greenhouse gas pollution and will instead review a single question raised by opponents of Clean Air Act climate regulation. Industry and a handful of states had asked the court to review a broad range of EPA actions — including its affirmation of the basic science of climate change and its regulation of climate pollution from cars and trucks — upheld by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in December 2012.

Instead the Supreme Court will review only whether EPA’s regulation of vehicle emissions under the Clean Air Act also means that new and modified “stationary sources” like power plants and factories must obtain permits and take steps to control climate pollution.

“The climate crisis threatens everything we hold dear but the Clean Air Act can help dig us out of this hole,” said Kevin Bundy, senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “We’re happy to see the Supreme Court turn back the brunt of industry’s broadside attack on the law. We hope the court will confirm EPA’s authority, under the plain terms of the Clean Air Act, to require state-of-the-art pollution controls from new power plants and factories.”

Clean Air Act regulation for greenhouse gases is urgently needed because climate change is already occurring, and the damage is rapidly worsening. Climate disruption has already increased the risk from some types of weather-related disasters, including last year’s brutal heat wave in America, according to a key scientific report released last month by scientists from around the world. President Obama’s own scientists have predicted more climate chaos to come if ambitious steps aren’t swiftly taken to reduce carbon pollution.

The Clean Air Act provides proven, successful programs to achieve science-based greenhouse pollution reductions; for that reason the Center for Biological Diversity’s Clean Air Cities campaign is working around the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions supporting the Clean Air Act and using the Act to reduce carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. So far more than 70 cities have passed such resolutions, including most recently Charlottesville, Va. and Honolulu, Hawaii.

Learn more about the Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign and get the facts about the Clean Air Act.

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