The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that will determine whether states can sue power plants to force them to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
The case began in 2004, when several plaintiffs, including six states and New Hampshire Audubon, sued the country’s five largest emitters of carbon dioxide. The question for the court is whether a federal judge should have the authority to determine a company’s allowable admissions.
The plaintiffs say yes; the power companies say no and want the suit thrown out. The Obama Administration also wants the suit dismissed. The administration argues that it should be the EPA’s job to regulate carbon emissions.
Massachusetts attorney Matt Pawa represents New Hampshire Audubon and two other conservation groups.He says the case has enormous implications. "If we can create an opportunity here to demonstrate in a court of law that these emitters – the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases in the entire country, could and should be reducing their emissions, it could be one of the biggest if not the biggest greenhouse gas reduction programs in the U.S. ever undertaken.”
The AP reports, however, that the justices appeared skeptical of the plaintiffs’ arguments.