Environmental Protection : The Victory Of A Supreme Court 's 5-4 Decision
This reflective paper will address several issues associated with environmental protection and the perceived environmental victory of a Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to support stricter emissions controls. First, it will discuss how the law must balance competing scientific opinions and make decisions in light of uncertainty. Next, this paper will discuss the different stakeholders who have concern in this situation, delineating their interests, as well as which stakeholder should have the priority position. Finally, it will discuss the effect on State regulations if the Federal government, through the Environmental Protection Agency, changes the standards for air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions.
Supreme Court Decision
As presented in the video, the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision held that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases emitted from automobile tailpipes were "air pollutants" covered by the Clean Air Act of 1970. Essentially, this decision rejected the Environmental Protection Agency 's (EPA) view that it lacked authority to regulate those emissions. And, despite the court determination to stop short of ordering the EPA to set mandatory limits, the justices rejected the Bush administration 's claim that voluntary programs were an effective substitute (Egelko, 2007, para 2). The issues were whether emissions (carbon dioxide) were covered under the Clean Air Act and whether the EPA had the…