Xcel Energy, EPA win Supreme Court battle on climate change laws

Categories: Business
xcel energy bay front wiki.jpg
Wikipedia
Xcel Energy and other utilities sided with the EPA in court and won.
In news that initially sounds like a contradiction in terms, the Environmental Protection Agency and five major utility companies, including Minnesota-based Xcel Energy, have scored a win together in the U.S. Supreme Court.

What are big fossil fuel-burning utilities doing in bed with the EPA? Both were challenging an effort by eight states seeking to implement their own greenhouse gas emission rules.

But in a unanimous 8-0 ruling that overturned a lower court ruling in New York, the justices said that the EPA has the sole authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. California, Connecticut, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin lost. Xcel, American Electric Power Co., Cinergy Co., Southern Co., and the Tennessee Valley Authority -- and the EPA -- won.

The states argued that current greenhouse gas standards don't go far enough, fast enough, to cut carbon emissions blamed for climate change. But justices, as they did when California tried to enact its own automobile emissions standards a few years ago, said the federal government should set the standards nationwide under the Clean Air Act.

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akeg/flickr
The Supremes say the EPA alone can regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
On the surface, this sounds like good news for companies like Xcel, because they won't face piecemeal regulations around the country -- and maybe will have an easier time lobbying just one agency, the EPA, for favorable treatment.

There's a different battle taking place in Congress, where power companies and lawmakers from states reliant on fossil fuel industries for energy production and jobs are trying to clip the EPA's wings. In that battle, the EPA's opponents say its carbon emission standards are too tough.

There's a thorough dissection of the Supreme Court case, American Electric Power Co., Inc. v. Connecticut, at SCOTUSblog


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3 comments
Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

well, don't complain when the cost to heat your home and power your computer doubles.

Here is an idea; since gases like CO2 disperse within the atmosphere, (gases produced in the U.S. will show up in Africa)  what are we to do about developing nations like India and China? Are we to force them to comply with our standards?Force them to adopt out EPA?Say, we are to do all this; how will doubling china's electric rates impact their people economically.  Will it be a win-win for the environmentalist mindset?Causing an economic depression within these nations thus slowing their rate of growth and China's effects on the environment.  General Motors Co. sold more cars and trucks in China last year than it did in the U.S., and this was only the first drop in the bucket.China has now surpassed us in annual CO2 production.  Four fifths (4/5) of China's people are still dirt farmers, and this is changing rapidly with the "westernization of the world" and advancements in technology and the basic "needs" of people.  Should we hinder their access to technology and force them to remain as dirt farmers?Understanding that ultimately, humans are the root cause of CO2 production besides volcanoes and other natural sources. As you can see, there may be nothing we can do from a technology stance, that will make a difference at this point.  (if you believe in man made "climate change")

The only practical global solution, would be to stop people from evolving or some kind of drastic population control.  Do we become the dictators of the world?Do we decide, who advances, and who doesn't?Do we decide who lives and who dies?30% of CO2 production comes from the breathing of humans and the food they eat.

if CO2 actually has a negative effect on our climate, what decisions do we make to save the world?

zerofor
zerofor

Interesting fact: much of the reason why California has the worst air in the USA is because of China. The only real solution to this problem is international cooperation and knowledge-sharing. Of course, many Americans think "black helicopters" and "antichrist" when they hear about international cooperation. So we'll probably just end up bombing anyone that starts consuming natural resources meant for us.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

What does having the "worst air" have to do with CO2 production?  CO2 has no claim to reduce air quality. (empty talking point)It's not about preserving "out natural resources", it's about saving the planet right?How do we do that when 30% of CO2 comes from human life, not human action?

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