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Greenhouse Gas Challenge May Be Headed to Supreme Court
 
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The Houston Chronicle reports on the latest in Texas' wide-ranging battle against new EPA regulations:

A Texas-led coalition of energy-producing states has asked the Supreme Court to hear a case involving the Obama administration's efforts to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases.

The petition, which was filed last week, comes 10 months after a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the legal underpinnings of the Environmental Protection Agency's first-ever rules limiting emissions of greenhouse gases.

In the 33-page petition, the states said the justices should hear their appeal because the new federal rules are hurting their economies. The EPA "is a runaway federal agency that must be reined in," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said.

The federal agency concluded in 2009 that greenhouse gases pose a public health threat and require potentially costly limits from vehicles, power plants and other industrial sources.

Such rules could have a profound impact on Texas, which emits more carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases than any other state. The state sued to block the rules, but has yet to win.

The petition takes aim at the EPA's "tailoring rule," which raised the threshold for regulation so that only the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions would be subject to it. Texas argues that the agency rewrote the Clean Air Act to come up with the rule.

The stakes involved in this litigation could hardly be higher. Carbon dioxide emissions are a feature of virtually every part of the economy, not to mention ordinary everyday life, and EPA's decision to regulate such emissions effectively grants it a breadth of regulatory authority that is unprecedented. 

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