In May, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a "friend of the court" brief in support of efforts by Texas and 11 other states -- and echoing the arguments of many industry groups -- who were urging the Supreme Court to throw out its 2007 ruling in a case called Massachusetts vs. EPA.
States and industry groups had argued EPA's conclusions about greenhouse gas dangers were not supported by the evidence, that the agency's motor vehicles rules were flawed and that EPA was not authorized to regulate stationary sources like factories and power plants.
The court, while accepting six different petitions, limited its review to the question of whether EPA "permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases."
Still, Morrisey said through his spokeswoman that he was pleased with the court's decision.
"It is a case which we are following closely and will continue to do so," Morrisey said. "I am committed to vigorously opposing the EPA or any federal agency when they exceed their legal authority."
Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, one of the lead industry groups that sought the Supreme Court review, also indicated he was pleased with the justices' decision.
But John <co >Walke, a lawyer with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the Supreme Court case would have limited impacts, even if decided in favor of industry.
While an EPA loss on the question would mean permits for greenhouse emissions could not be required under one section of the Clean Air Act, federal officials could still write and enforce emissions standards under a different part of the law, Walke said.
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.