In a 6-to2 ruling on Tuesday April 29th, 2014, the supreme court upheld the EPA authority to regulate smog from coal plants located in 28 states across the east coast and Midwest. The ruling is a huge victory for the Obama administration, as it moves forward an environmental agenda that includes various new regulations in an effort to cut pollution from coal fired power plants. However, the republican party has criticized these regulations as a “war on coal” and they have been pursuing legal action to undo these new regulations.
This decision will force coal plant owners to install costly “scrubber” technology to reduce the pollution discharged from the smokestack. 15 states and various utilities were opposed to the new regulations, whom argued that the EPA is being given to much authority and the ruling puts an unfair economic burden on the polluting states in question. According to representative Fred Upton ,Republican of Michigan and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, “The administration’s overreaching regulation will drive up energy costs and threaten jobs and electric reliability. We cannot allow E.P.A.’s aggressive regulatory expansion to go unchecked. We will continue our oversight of the agency and our efforts to protect American families and workers from E.P.A.’s onslaught of costly rules.”
The ruling, as it stands today, will certainly cause dozens of coal power plants to shut down, in addition the higher costs associated with these new regulations will almost certainly be past down to the consumers, which have already been experiencing higher energy costs as natural gas and gasoline prices continue to rise.