In response to the landmark ruling yesterday in the Supreme Court against the EPA’s refusal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, George Bush proposed a radical solution to addressing global warming: Change our measurements from farenheit to celsius.
“That should lower our temperature a bunch right there,” he said. “Jeez, it was 82 degrees earlier, and now it’s only 28. I better get mah jacket.”
(gotta cite the source for this one, folks… Marcy Smothers.)
No, seriously. Yesterday’s ruling was a big deal.
By a 5-4 vote, the nation’s highest court told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its refusal to regulate carbon dioxide and other emissions from new cars and trucks that contribute to climate change. The high court ruled that such greenhouse gases from motor vehicles fall within the law’s definition of an air pollutant…
In sending the case back for further proceedings, Stevens said the EPA could avoid regulation only if it determined that the gases do not contribute to climate change or if it provided a reasonable explanation. Stevens said the EPA could not avoid its legal obligation by noting the scientific uncertainty surrounding some features of climate change and concluding it would be better not to regulate at this time.
This ruling is important more for what it didn’t do–pave the way for the reversal of laws on the books in California and other states regulating greenhouse gas emissions–than what it did accomplish. But it does pave the way for potential federal legislation aimed at regulation.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court also dealt a blow to utility companies fighting a federal clean air initiative aimed at forcing power companies to install pollution control equipment on aging coal-fired power plants.
And on capitol hill, carbon tax legislation is gaining support, while Environmental Defense is speaking out against a carbon tax, promoting a cap-and-trade system instead. And you wonder why most people tune out policy debates…