tailoring rule court decision

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia December 10 turned down a request from utilities, oil refiners and the state of Texas to delay the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The court’s decision means that the EPA and state agencies can begin to require that companies use the best available control technologies (BACT) to cut emissions of carbon dioxide to obtain air permits.

The companies and Texas had sought a court order blocking the EPA from moving ahead, saying that the regulations would be too costly. The plaintiffs wanted to hold off the new rules until the end of a separate lawsuit challenging the agency’s finding that greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants and large industrial facilities endanger the health of Americans.

But the appellate court said that the companies “have not shown that the harms they allege are ‘certain,’ rather than speculative.”

Industry groups spoke out against the court’s ruling. “Yet another blow was dealt in favor of overreaching government regulation and against the economic well-being of the American people,” Charles T. Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, said in an article in The Washington Post.

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