US court denies attempt to block EPA climate rules

Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:12am GMT

* US EPA can proceed with climate regulations-court

* Industry pursuing lawsuits against EPA carbon rules

By Ayesha Rascoe

WASHINGTON, Dec 10 (Reuters) - A U.S. federal court on Friday denied an appeal by industry groups to block the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing greenhouse gas regulations early next year.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said opponents of EPA's planned regulations did not meet the "stringent standards" necessary for the court to stop the rules while various lawsuits proceed against the EPA's climate-related actions.

EPA rules to limit the emissions of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, from major industrial sources are due to go into effect on January 2. The Obama administration is moving ahead with the rules after failing to pass a climate change law through Congress this year.

The rules face lawsuits from industry groups and states that question the federal government's authority to regulate ubiquitous greenhouse gases, and argue the EPA did not conduct enough of its own research when it made its finding that carbon is a danger to human health. [ID:nN19162371]

Critics of the regulations argue the EPA is not equipped to handle the enormous task of controlling emissions blamed for global warming, and onerous rules will damage the economy.

"In light of the substantial disagreement over whether federal, state and local regulators can be ready in time to impose preconstruction permit requirements by early January, the court may have ensured an effective construction moratorium for industrial and power projects," said Scott Segal of Bracewell Giuliani, a lobbying firm that represents utilities, refiners and manufacturers.   Continued...

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