EPA regulatory powers slightly restricted by the Supreme Court

In a new ruling on Monday, June 23, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would be able to keep almost all of its regulatory powers under the Clean Air Act. Although the court pulled back on the organization's powers a bit, this 5-4 case is not expected to have any major impact on the Obama administration's goals of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by the year 2030.

The case, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, was brought against the federal government after industry leaders felt that the administration had overstepped in its legal authority. The Obama administration felt that the Clean Air Act gave it the power to closely monitor and regulate places that produce smaller amounts of greenhouse gases, such as malls, apartment complexes and schools.

While the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government has no official oversight of these buildings, it could continue to regulate the major greenhouse gas producers in the country, such as power plants. Because new and existing power plants will soon be under the increased scrutiny of the EPA, this ruling was seen by some as largely symbolic. As it stands, the EPA predicts it will be able to regulate 83 percent of greenhouse gas emitters, instead of the 86 percent it had wanted.

"It bears mention that EPA is getting almost everything it wanted in this case," Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the majority opinion, said from the bench after the ruling was issued.

Although the federal government is still debating what course of action to take in regard to the environment, there is plenty that people can do on individual levels to help the planet. If you are a Virginia resident, schedule an appointment with R&J Tinting today to learn more about our energy saving window film.