The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released a statement Thursday noting their stance that the Supreme Court should find that individuals and states do not have legal standing to force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate without congressional authorization.
In the current court case, EPA vs. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, James Milkey, a Massachusetts assistant attorney general, is arguing on behalf of environmentalists, 12 states and the cities of New York, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The group contends that the agency should regulate CO2 emissions from automobiles under the Clean Air Act as a way to control global warming.
Deputy Solicitor General Gregory Garre is arguing on behalf of the Bush Administration and the EPA. Garre said there is "substantial scientific uncertainty" about global warming.
The NAM Vice President of Litigation Quentin Riegel said that “Congress has enacted several laws to begin to address the global warming debate, but the Clean Air Act is not one of them.”
NAM Vice President of Energy Resources Policy Keith McCoy said, “if we ever reach consensus that global warming can be solved with a regulatory program, then Congress in conjunction with other international governing bodies should be involved. The issue is global, and a one-sided solution from U.S. regulators will only hurt American business, our competitiveness, and jobs.”
If the Court finds that the EPA has the authority, the justices will then need to decide if the agency is required to use it.
Chief Justice Roberts and fellow Justices Scalia and Alito said that even if the EPA can regulate carbon dioxide emissions and chooses to do so, it would not be enough for the U.S. to act alone to solve a world-wide issue.
Justices Ginsburg, Stevens and Breyer took the counter-point, indicating the U.S. should lead the way in combating global warming.