Inhofe EPW Rapid Response: Supreme Court/Massachusetts v. EPA
February 9, 2011
Posted by Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov
Inhofe EPW Rapid Response
Supreme Court/Massachusetts v. EPA
CLAIM: The Supreme Court decision Massachusetts v. EPA forced EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.
"Just to be clear, the Supreme Court, the law of the land, found that greenhouse gases are a pollutant. They ordered EPA to make a determination as to whether...they said that EPA must make a determination as to whether or not greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare. And rather than ignore that obligation, I chose as Administrator, and I believe I had no choice, to follow the law." EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Hearing on the EPA's FY 2011 Budget, US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, February 23, 2010.
FACT: The Supreme Court ruled that EPA possesses the discretion under the Clean Air Act to decide whether greenhouse gases from mobile sources "endanger public health and welfare."
Here is what the Court wrote: "Under the Act's clear terms, EPA can avoid promulgating regulations only if it determines that greenhouse gases do not contribute to climate change or if it provides some reasonable explanation as to why it cannot or will not exercise its discretion to determine whether they do."
EPA had a choice, and it decided that greenhouse gases do endanger public health and welfare. This was the wrong decision.