U.S. Appeals Court Backs Government's Fuel and Emissions Standards

By Jacob Brown | June 27, 2012
President Barack Obama has ardently supported cracking down on carbon emissions and backed raising fuel economy standards. It's been such an advocate, in fact, that the Obama Administration has placed a large portion of regulating emissions and fuel economy into the EPA's Clean Air Act instead of leaving it to a vote from Congress, a controversial move. An appeals court now says that it fully has the right to do what it wants. "EPA simply did here what it and other decision makers often must do to make a science-based judgment: It sought out and reviewed existing scientific evidence to determine whether a particular finding was warranted," the court said in its decision. "This is how science works. EPA is not required to re-prove the existence of the atom every time it approaches a scientific question."
In the subtext of the Clean Air Act, there's a clause called an "endangerment finding" that says the EPA can modify laws if it says there's a need for concern. The state of Texas and industry organizations said the EPA didn't do enough to verify claims that emissions from companies and cars were directly impacting the environment to the point where they should be further regulated. In the past, the Obama Administration has used the Clean Air Act to push up 2012 to 2016 corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards to 34.1 mpg, industry-wide. It also used the same laws to cut down on tailpipe emissions and open CAFE up to 54.5 mpg by 2025. Yup, all of it because of the Clean Air Act and the powers held by the EPA. There are two ways of looking at this issue, though, which politicians have been quick to point out: One side says it'll add a huge amount of cost to industry in forcing it to comply with the tougher standards. The other side says it'll make the world a safer, cleaner place and provide jobs in the green energy sector. Source: Detroit News