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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

On Air Pollution, the Supreme Court Doesn't Make a Terrible Decision for Once

Posted by on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 3:06 PM

The Supreme Court got one right for once today, ruling 6-2 that companies should be responsible for their own air pollution. Robert Barnes and Darryl Fears at the Washington Post explain:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday resurrected Environmental Protection Agency rules targeting air pollution that drifts across state borders, handing a victory to the Obama administration on one of its major environmental efforts.

The agency for years, under two administrations, has struggled to carry out a directive under the federal Clean Air Act to protect downwind states from pollution generated in other states, mostly from coal-fired power plants. The EPA’s rules from 2011 were challenged by a coalition of upwind states and industry, which prevailed in lower courts.

This is good news, but it should also be the bare minimum when it comes to pollution rules. Of course you're responsible for your own waste. What kind of libertarian nightmare land would we live in if a company's responsibility to the community ceased at the end of their exhaust pipes?


Comments (8) RSS

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I'd bet a dollar that the dissenters were Thomas and Scalia.
Posted by CPN on April 29, 2014 at 3:30 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 2
They were, @1.

So does pollution from China that impacts WA, OR, and CA from coal exported from the US count?

Good reason to kill coal exports.
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 29, 2014 at 4:06 PM · Report this
seatackled 3
Scalia and Thomas would have been my guess, too.

There aren't enough dollars to go around if everyone guessed.
Posted by seatackled on April 29, 2014 at 4:16 PM · Report this
The dissent is incredible. According to what I read at The New York Times Scalia and Thomas (Alito recused himself) co-authored a screed that, not satisfied with overturning essentially all environmental legislation in the country and especially the Clean Air Act, denounced the very notion as Marxist. Because apparently that's a valid Constitutional argument of some sort.
Posted by Warren Terra on April 29, 2014 at 4:23 PM · Report this

Do these rules extend to China?

Or else there's no hope for WA.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 29, 2014 at 6:11 PM · Report this
Did you guys read the actual opinions? Scalia's argument is that instead of deciding who has to reduce pollution based on the costs, you have to do it based on the amount of pollution. I read half his opinion, (haven't read the majority yet), and it's pretty brutal.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on April 29, 2014 at 6:40 PM · Report this

When you look for the embodiment of disinterested detachment, you have Clarence Thomas. He's the Ronald Reagan of the Supreme Court.

When you look for the embodiment of evil, look to Scalia. He's their Dick Cheney.
Posted by CPN on April 29, 2014 at 11:16 PM · Report this
Suggesting that libertarians are against all environmental regulations is another way of saying, "I haven't bothered reading what libertarians think because it takes up the time I could otherwise spend judging them!"

This is the kind of thing most libertarians would support because it affects other people's property.

Full disclosure: I am not a libertarian. I just think one should be informed before criticizing something.
Posted by LJM on April 30, 2014 at 12:07 PM · Report this

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