Supremes to Bush: pack Up Your Razor Suitcase and Stop in the Name of Global Warming


Statement on Supreme Court Ruling: Massachusetts et al. v. EPA (No. 05-1120)


In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court said yesterday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated the Clean Air Act when it refused a petition by several states, cities, and various public health and environmental organizations — including Environmental Advocates of New York — to regulate global warming pollution from automobiles.


Despite mounting evidence of global warming and its impacts, the EPA under the Bush administration consistently refused to set any limits on the pollutants responsible, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and hydroflourocarbons from motor vehicles. In particular, EPA denied a petition by several public interest groups to limit these greenhouse gases. The agency claimed that the Clean Air Act did not authorize such limits.


“This is a landmark decision,” said David Gahl, Air and Energy Program Director of Environmental Advocates of New York, “and shows that the Bush administration dodged its legal responsibility to address global climate change.” 


As a result of the decision, the EPA must revisit a 2003 petition by numerous organizations and decide what steps it will take to address global warming emissions from automobiles.  Click here to view the Court’s opinion.  


Petitioners in the case included: Massachusetts; California; Connecticut; Illinois; Maine; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; the District of Columbia; American Samoa, New York City; Baltimore; the Center for Biological Diversity; Center for Food Safety; Conservation Law Foundation; Environmental Advocates of New York; Environmental Defense; Friends of the Earth; Greenpeace; International Center for Technology Assessment; National Environmental Trust; Natural Resources Defense Council; Sierra Club; Union of Concerned Scientists; and U.S. Public Interest Research Group.


Click here to read about the decision in the New York Times.


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A message from Buck Parker
Re: Victory: Supreme Court rules on global warming

The victories just keep getting better! In a 5-4 ruling this
morning, the Supreme Court told the Bush administration it
cannot claim that the Environmental Protection Agency does not
have the authority to regulate the greenhouse gases that cause
global warming.

In 2003, the administration and EPA argued that EPA didn’t have
the authority to regulate these gases. Earthjustice attorneys
thought they were simply trying to dodge the issue and helped
enlist a wide array of states, municipalities, and environmental
and public health groups in challenging EPA’s inaction all the
way up to the Supreme Court.

While this case has worked its way through EPA and the courts,
scientific evidence of global warming has continued to mount —
so much so that the scientific debate is over. Today, the
Supreme Court told the EPA it CAN use its existing Clean Air Act
authority to require control of greenhouse gas emissions by cars
and other motor vehicles. The act has successfully cut emissions
of many pollutants, and it can do the same for greenhouse gases.

To combat this most urgent environmental crisis, strong and
comprehensive U.S. action is crucial. Congress must step in and
enact legislation — capping car emissions and tightening fuel
economy standards, for a start.

Earthjustice will continue to press Congress and the EPA to
protect the health and welfare of American citizens… and the

Thanks for your continued support.


Vawter “Buck” Parker
Executive Director

One Response

  1. […] Supremes to Bush: Pack Up Your Razor Suitcase and Stop in the Name of Global Warming […]

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