Supreme Court Says Regulating Emissions from Power Plants is Lawful
In a 7-to-2 ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Environmental Protection Agency imposing regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from “large, industrial polluters,” according to the New York Times. However, the court did reject a key argument from the E.P.A.’s reasoning for the regulations, stating that the agency overstepped its reach.
The decision was a compromise ruling that split the Court: the vote was five to four to reject EPA’s broadest view of its power over greenhouse gas emissions, but the Justices voted seven to two to allow EPA to impose air pollution control strategy on many of the power plants and other fixed sources of greenhouse gases.
Solar, Wind Power Capacity at an All-Time High
New statistics shows that renewable energy capacity grew immensely in 2013, with solar capacity growing nearly 55 times higher and wind power growing nearly seven times higher than in 2004. The U.S. added the second-highest amount of wind power capacity in 2013, increasing by 1.1 percent to just over 60 gigawatts. For solar power, the U.S. grew 4.8 percent to about 12 gigawatts.
The growth in renewable energy installations is also prompting an increase in jobs. There are currently more than 6.5 million employees in the clean energy industry.
Exponential growth might not seem like much at first, but after enough time has passed, things start to happen really quickly. Case in point, renewable energy has been around for decades, yet we’ve made more progress increasing capacity in the past few years than in all the preceding decades.
Act On Climate Plan Turns One
Just weeks after the EPA announced its plan to limit carbon emissions, President Obama’s Climate Action Plan celebrated its first anniversary. Implemented with the goal of making American more energy efficient, the Act On Climate plan is serving as the guide for the Administration’s clean energy initiatives.
The President’s Climate Action Plan reiterates the goal of reducing U.S. GHG emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and of doubling our nation’s energy productivity by the year 2030. It provides a blueprint for mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts nationally and internationally.
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