Entries in Greenhouse Gas Emissions (2)


Supreme Court: Only EPA Can Place Limits on Greenhouse Gases

John Foxx/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Supreme Court made it clear Monday that it's up to the Environmental Protection Agency alone to place restrictions on greenhouse gases emitted by companies.

In the unanimous eight justice decision, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor recusing herself, the high court said a lower court was wrong to have ruled that federal judges can issue restrictions in a case involving six states that sued five major power companies.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for the court that "the critical point is that Congress delegated to EPA the decision whether and how to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants; the delegation is what displaces federal common law."

The ruling still allows states and conservation groups to file lawsuits against the EPA, which will formulate new regulations later this year to restrict carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas.

Monday's ruling by the high court is its most important decision on climate change since the EPA was granted authority in 2007 to curb greenhouse gas emissions, which are blamed in large part for global warming.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Scientists Rail Against Senator Who Belittled Research

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(DURHAM, N.H.) -- A team of scientists who study pollution's role in global warming are outraged at a GOP Senator who they say has maligned their work as wasteful and petty by describing it as a study of "cow burps."

"This was not funded with earmarks and it was not a study about cow burps," said John Aber, an environmental scientist and provost of the University of New Hampshire.  "It's not wasteful," he said. "It's important."

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., released on Monday his annual "Wastebook" report, a look at 100 projects that received federal funding which he says contributed to record deficits in the past year.

Among those projects was a $700,000 grant from the Department of Agriculture to a team of environmental scientists at the University of New Hampshire to study greenhouse gas emissions -- the chemicals associated with global warming -- in the dairy industry.

Coburn's "Wastebook" quotes one of the project's researchers telling a local New Hampshire paper that "cows emit most of their methane through belching, only a small fraction from flatulence."

Scientists at the University of New Hampshire say Coburn has cherry picked quotes and taken things out of context in an effort to undermine their research. They say the project's findings will not only help the environment, but also farmers and businesses involved in the dairy industry.

"This is a caricature of the research based on a few words or phrases for political gain," Aber said. "It was competitive. Much of the research was about how nitrogen in particular, affects ground water."

Furthermore, Aber said, the project was commissioned by the Department of Agriculture and was competitively bid on by different universities.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio