Supreme Court hears opening arguments in landmark climate-change case

Climate change made its Supreme debut yesterday, as the high court began considering whether the U.S. EPA must regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. Much of the opening session concerned whether the plaintiffs, including several green groups and a dozen states, had suffered enough harm to sue. Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General James Milkey said coastlines were in grave danger and emissions rules would help; Deputy U.S. Solicitor General Gregory Garre countered that such rules would do economic harm and were unadvisable “in light of the substantial scientific uncertainty surrounding climate change.” (Really? They’re sticking with that?) The Supremes split along predictable ideological lines, with conservative Justice Antonin Scalia asking early on, “When is the predicted cataclysm?” Across town, under pressure from Democrats, EPA agreed to revise a controversial proposed rule for companies reporting toxic releases. So hey, maybe these kids can settle this thing yet.

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