The AP reported yesterday that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, 05-1120. This case deals with carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles and could influence the global warming fight. It is being brought by more than just the Bay State. All of the plaintiffs are: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. They were joined by cities such as Baltimore, New York and the District of Columbia; the Pacific island of America Samoa; the Sierra Club; the Union of Concerned Scientists; Greenpeace; and Friends of the Earth.
Carbon dioxide is produced when fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas are burned. It is the principal "greenhouse" gas that many scientists believe is flowing into the atmosphere at an unprecedented rate, leading to a warming of the earth and widespread ecological changes. One way to reduce those emissions is to have cleaner-burning cars.
The Bush administration intends to argue before the court on Wednesday that the EPA lacks the power under the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant. The agency contends that even if it did have such authority, it would have discretion under the law on how to address the problem without imposing emissions controls.
The states, led by Massachusetts, and more than a dozen environmental groups insist the 1970 law makes clear that carbon dioxide is a pollutant _ much like lead and smog-causing chemicals _ that is subject to regulation because its poses a threat to public health.
That's all well and good to blame global warming (I'm sure it was warm snow that fell on Florida) on carbon dioxide emissions from cars. But what about all those people who are living and breathing AND EXHALING CARBON DIOXIDE?!?!?
We have estimates of twelve million people who are here in the United States illegally breathing carbon dioxide into American air, and the environmental groups want to go after the EPA? What about the immigration people? What are they going to do about all the people crossing the border to bring their greenhouse gases into our country? When will enough be enough?
I have no idea what the Supreme Court will do about this case. We won't hear the results until sometime next year. In the meantime, try not to breathe too much.