April 2, 2007 For the first time in its history, the
U.S. Supreme Court has waded into the political debate
on global warming.
Under the Bush administration, the Environmental
Protection Agency or EPA has argued that carbon
dioxide and the like aren't pollutants under the Clean
Air Act, and therefore, the agency has no power to
In a sweeping 5-4 decision released Monday, the
Supreme Court rejected that position, declaring that
Clean Air Act gives the Environmental Protection
Agency the authority to regulate the emissions of
carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from cars.
Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the
majority opinion, and was joined by Justices Anthony
Kennedy, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen
The Supreme Court majority decided US motor-vehicle
emissions make a "meaningful contribution to
greenhouse gas concentrations" and hence, to global
"A well-documented rise in global temperatures has
coincided with a significant increase in the
concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Respected scientists believe the two trends are
related," Justice Stevens wrote.
Bush Administration Defeat Delights Environmental
Environmental groups applauded the Court's decision.
"It's an important signal that the Bush administration
cannot continue to ignore the problem of global
warming for political reasons when the science is so
clear and there's such clear pressure from the public
to move forward," said Josh Dorner, spokesperson for
the Sierra Club in Washington D.C.
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