Supreme Court to decide whether EPA should regulate greenhouse gases

The Supreme Court today announced that it will rule on whether the U.S. EPA should regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from automobiles. Against the advice of the Bush administration, SCOTUS will hear a suit brought by 12 states, a number of cities, and various environmental groups against the EPA. The plaintiffs argue that the agency should classify carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbons — all planet-warming greenhouse gases — as pollutants and thus regulate them under the Clean Air Act. A lower court sided with the administration, which argued that voluntary steps to curb the emissions are good enough and that the EPA should not have to “embark on the extraordinarily complex and scientifically uncertain task of addressing the global issue of greenhouse-gas emissions.” (So, their argument is … it’s too hard?) The court will begin hearing arguments in October.