Supreme Court to hear EPA carbon dioxide regulation case

11/28/06 12:00AM By Mitch Wertlieb



(Host) Vermont and a dozen other states will get their say before a U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow in a case that could determine whether the Bush administration must change course on the way it deals with the threat of global warming.

The suit says the federal Environmental protection agency as a matter of public health must regulate the amount of carbon dioxide produced by automobiles. Carbon Dioxide is believed to be a major source of greenhouse gases that are warming the planet to dangerous levels.

The Bush administration intends to arague that the EPA lacks the power under the Clean Air Act of 1970 to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant.

Erik Titrud is Assistant Attorney General for the State of Vermont. He says he believes Vermont has a strong case, but:

(Titrud) "The case may really turn on the degree to which the Supreme Court will defer to EPA's interpretation of these provisions of The Clean Air Act, the act which gives the EPA authority to regulate pollutants. There is certainly a significant degree of deference given by courts to administrative agencies with respect to interpretation of statutes in areas where they have expertise."

(Host) Last year a sharply divided federal appeals court ruled in the government's favor, but the High Court agreed to look at the issue, starting tomorrow.

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