EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulations Upheld By Federal Court of Appeals

The question to be asked of the TVA board should be “how much will this cost the ratepayers?” Sure makes renewable more attractive as future investments here in TVA land.

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Environmental Protection Agency’s rules regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from major stationary sources and its determination that GHG emissions endanger public health and welfare by contributing to climate change. EPA’s rules require new major sources and major modifications to existing sources permitted after January 2, 2012 to implement the “best available control technology” (BACT) to limit GHG emissions.

Eight energy companies — FirstEnergy, DTE Energy, American Electric Power, Southern Co., Ameren, Energy Future Holdings, GenOn Energy and PPL — spent $67 million lobbying Congress to overturn EPA regulations.The court rejected arguments that EPA erred by relying on assessments of climate change prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other scientific bodies.

The D.C. court noted that those assessments were peer-reviewed and synthesized thousands of individual studies on various aspects of greenhouse gases and climate change. The court argued that science works. “EPA is not required to re-prove the existence of the atom every time it approaches a scientific question.”

An appeal to the Supreme Court is likely. But unless the Supreme Court reverses, or Congress intervenes to limit EPA’s Clean Air Act authority, EPA’s GHG regulations remain in place.

more on the legal arguments can be found here