D.C. Circuit Upholds EPA's Greenhouse Gas Regulations: Green-lights the centralized control of industrial development through the issuance of permits for greenhouse gases


In a unanimous per curiam panel opinion, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit let stand each of the four rules underlying the EPA's greenhouse gas regulatory regime, paving the way for the imposition of sweeping carbon emission controls on virtually all forms of productive activity.

The D.C. Circuit first affirmed EPA's "Endangerment Finding," which concluded that greenhouse gases "very likely" caused global warming, and therefore, endanger human health and welfare, notwithstanding EPA's inability to articulate the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that actually cause harm. According to the Court of Appeals, certainty and reliability are not prerequisites to regulation, stating "[EPA's] failure to distill this ocean of evidence into a specific number at which greenhouse gases cause 'dangerous' climate change is a function of the precautionary thrust of the CAA and the multivariate and sometimes uncertain nature of climate science, not a sign of arbitrary and capricious decision-making."

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