WASHINGTON — A divided Supreme Court blocked the Obama administration Monday from requiring permits for some industries that spew greenhouse gases, but the ruling won’t prohibit other means of regulating the pollutant that causes global warming.
The court’s conservative wing ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency exceeded its authority by changing the emissions threshold for greenhouse gases in the Clean Air Act. That action can only be taken by Congress, Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion said.
The 5-4 ruling, which partially reverses a 2012 federal appeals court decision, represents a moral victory for industry and state government opponents of the federal regulations. They have complained that the rules could cost billions of dollars to implement and threaten thousands of jobs.
Related: ADEQ announces stakeholder group for carbon response
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality officials announced a stakeholder group will be formed to assist ADEQ in developing a plan in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed requirements to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants in Arizona.
The stakeholder group will employ the same partnership model as the successful Phoenix Five Per Cent Plan, which brought the Valley in compliance with EPA dust standards, relying on input from elected officials, industry representatives, utilities, environmental activists, cities, ADEQ staff and EPA. The group will be charged with guiding ADEQ’s development of a response to EPA’s proposed rules that make sense for Arizona’s unique environment and economy by June 30, 2016.