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Supreme Court asked to clear the air about greenhouse gas rules

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SC greenhouse gas caseThe Supreme Court’s hottest environmental case of the year pits Texas against California on Monday, and that’s just for starters.

More than half of the nation’s states have taken sides in a dispute over federal authority to regulate stationary greenhouse gas emissions. Conservative lawmakers such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., hold one position. Southern California air pollution managers defend another.

Miners and frozen food industry leaders serve up their arguments; respiratory health care experts counter them.

“It’s the big one,” said Washington, D.C.-based attorney Peter S. Glaser, an energy law expert, adding that greenhouse gas regulation “seems to have become this central, major, international issue.”

Underscoring the potential stakes, the unusually long 90-minute oral argument, set for Monday morning, consolidates six lawsuits that challenge Environmental Protection Agency rules. The lawsuits have been boiled down to one central question: Did the EPA overstep its bounds in regulating stationary greenhouse gas emissions based on an earlier determination that it could regulate such emissions from motor vehicles?

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