Gallery C

That Smog Problem
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The Corporate Attack On The EPA

By James Donahue

The next barrage of an all-out attack by U.S. industrial groups and Republicans to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its power to limit carbon emissions occurred Feb. 24 at the Supreme Court.

The court heard arguments against the EPA’s requirement that coal-burning factories and other facilities that expand or are under new construction must utilize new technology to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas from their stacks. The EPA also has been given the power to limit gas emissions from automobiles.

The EPA was unable to function well while President George W. Bush was in office, but President Barack Obama has pushed to restore the agency to its original force. He has pledged to act on environmental issues even if he has to work around a Congress that refuses to support him.

An Associated Press report quoted Jacob Hollinger, a former EPA lawyer, as saying that a court ruling against the EPA would help opponents challenge every step of the agency’s effort to deal with climate change.

Republicans, obviously representing the interests of the corporations that finance their election campaigns and who dominate the Congress, voted down proposed climate legislation. Now they are attempting to block Mr. Obama from using some of the same tactics Bush used to strip the EPA’s powers to put them back . . . executive order.

A U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in 2012 that the EPA could legally use existing federal law to deal with global warming.

The EPA has determined that the release of carbon dioxide and other heat trapping gases endangers human health and welfare. The Obama administration has used that finding to regulate auto emissions and develop national standards for coal burning plants.
It has been a slow and uphill battle for Mr. Obama and the fight has now landed in the lap of the high court.