Supreme Court won't hear challenge to EPA rulemaking
By Jonathan Stempel
WASHINGTON | Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:28pm EST
(Reuters) - The Supreme Court refused on Tuesday to consider reducing the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to set air quality standards, leaving intact a tough new limit on sulfur dioxide emissions in a victory for the Obama administration.
Without comment, the court decided not to hear an appeal by Grupo Mexico SAB's Asarco LLC unit of a lower court ruling that upholds a 2010 EPA rule limiting sulfur dioxide in the air to 75 parts per billion over one hour.
On Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama in his inauguration speech made the politically charged issue of climate change a top priority for his second term. He cited a need to protect future generations from man-made pollutants.
"The EPA's efforts to regulate greenhouse gases during Obama's first term have been upheld in court, which is a favorable sign for proponents of climate change regulation," said David Uhlmann, a University of Michigan law professor and former chief of the U.S. Department of Justice Environmental Crimes Section, in a telephone interview.