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Free of Scalia's Scorn,  Supreme Court Denies Mercury Polluters' Appeal

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Mar 4, 2016 8:09:25 PM

In the first of what's likely to be many reversals, the Supreme Court today ruled against pollutors, denying coal states another delay in their attempt to underming EPA rules about Mercury pollution.coal_pollution_supreme_court_green_builder.jpg

According to Environmentalleader.com, "Last June, as we know, the Supremes said that EPA didn’t properly consider cost as it relates to the mercury rules and re-delivered the to the DC Court of Appeals for it to reconsider. That lower court will rehear the arguments but decided in the meantime, that the law could go forward.

That’s when 20 states decided to ask the US Supreme Court to intervene — to delay the mercury rule’s implementation, just as it had done with respect to the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan to curb carbon emissions in February."

Scalia's role in anti-environmental rulings should not be underestimated.

According to usnews.com:

He consistently voted in favor of property rights over protection of endangered species, wetlands and other natural resources. He dissented in the court's landmark ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA that the Clean Air Act authorizes the agency to regulate the carbon pollution causing global warming and ocean acidification.

He wrote the majority opinion in a case limiting EPA's authority to require preconstruction permits for new power plants that only emit greenhouse gases. He wrote the opinion overturning the mercury rule on a technicality – namely, that EPA should have considered cost as a threshold matter before even embarking on the rulemaking instead of at the stage when the regulations were actually being applied to specific facilities.

But the coal states fighting agains new pollution rules got an unexpected surprise. The Supreme Court denied the request for delay of implementation. Is this the first of  (at least) 11 months of undoing Scalia's anti-regulatory legacy? How far will the "undoing" go? We can't help wondering if Scalia's anti-environmental legacy will become a mere footnote in the history podcasts of the future.

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