As many of you probably know, today a three-judge panel of the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. EPA is not obligated to regulate CO2 as an air pollutant. In doing so it ruled against a coalition of states and cities that had filed a petition trying to force the EPA to mandate reductions.
This is bad, if not entirely unexpected, news. I suspect we’ll publish something more about it on Monday.
For now, Chris Mooney has read the majority opinion by Judge A. Raymond Randolph, the concurrence by Judge David Sentelle, and the dissent by Judge David Tatel. In Mooney’s judgment, on both scientific and legal grounds, “Tatel rocks.”
Update [2005-7-15 16:0:55 by Dave Roberts]: Not surprisingly, over at NRO Jonathan Adler has a different take on the case:
A decision to regulate greenhouse gases as air pollutants would vastly increase the EPA’s regulatory authority over private economic activity. Carbon dioxide is a ubiquitous byproduct of fossil-fuel energy combustion. Controlling carbon dioxide emissions would require regulating every industrial facility that burns oil, coal, or natural gas, along with all manner of agricultural practices and land-use decisions. It would further require yet another round of federal controls on automobile tailpipe emissions. If the federal government is to assume such awesome regulatory authority, the decision should be made in the halls of Congress, not a federal courthouse.