President Obama Delivers State Of The Union Address At U.S. Capitol

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts (L) and Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy listen to President Barack Obama deliver the State of the Union address

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in a case regarding whether the Obama administration acted within its authority when it used the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions – carbon dioxide specifically – as pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

Unable to advance their climate change mitigation strategy in Congress, the administration has used the EPA to regulate emissions from stationary sources like power plants, oil refineries and similar industrial emissions sources. This case pertains to the “stationary sources” issue, though the government is advancing its climate strategy on other fronts, including stricter regulations for new power plants. Importantly, how emissions from existing power plants will be handled remains unclear.

In yesterday’s arguments, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, questioned the Obama administration’s lawyer over some of the government’s legal arguments.

“I couldn’t find a single precedent that strongly supports your position,” Kennedy said. – Reuters

The court is expected to rule on this case by the end of June.