Courts to hear challenges to Obama’s air pollution regs

The two highest courts in the land are slated to hear legal challenges to major Obama administration air quality regulations, National Journal reports.

Weather permitting, the U.S. Supreme Court was slated Tuesday to hear arguments over the Environmental Protection Agency's 2011 Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which requires eastern states to slash pollution from power plants that drifts across state lines.

At the same time, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit was expected to hear challenges from a separate EPA rule that requires cuts in emissions of mercury and other toxic compounds from power plants, according to the National Journal.

Taken together, the two cases strike at the core of President Obama’s initiative to tackle climate change through regulation, in lieu of congressional action.

“The arguments will help decide the fate of a White House environmental agenda that industry groups and many Republicans call overzealous and economically harmful, especially in coal-producing regions and areas heavily reliant on coal for power,” The National Journal’s Ben Geman writes.

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