Court rules agency is ‘unambiguously correct’ in using law to curb global warming gases

WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the first-ever U.S. government regulations aimed at reducing the gases blamed for global warming.

The rules, which had been challenged by industry groups and several states, will reduce emissions of six heat-trapping gases from large industrial facilities such as factories and power plants, as well as from automobile tailpipes.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington said that the Environmental Protection Agency was “unambiguously correct” in using existing federal law to address global warming, denying two of the challenges to four separate regulations and dismissing the others.

The ruling is perhaps the most significant to come out on the issue since 2007, when the Supreme Court found that greenhouse gases could be controlled as air pollutants under the Clean Air Act, a step the Bush administration had resisted.

It also lands during a presidential election year where there are sharp differences between the two candidates when it comes to how best to deal with global warming.

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