Supreme Court exhibits skepticism about EPA “good neighbor” pollution rule



Skepticism was on display Wednesday as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about the EPA’s so-called ““good neighbor” rule, an anti-air-pollution rule.

The conservative majority on the court showed it as the Environmental Protection Agency fought challenges in its efforts to continue enforcement in 11 states. The rule is about restrictions of smokestack emissions from power plants and industrial sources that sometimes drift downwind and result in smog and pollution.

The matter in question involves Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia who challenged the rule saying it was not only costly but ineffective. The rule remains on hold in a dozen other states because of the challenges in the courts.

The Associated Press reported that Justice Brett Kavanaugh seemed sympathetic to that argument, saying the EPA plan could impose unreasonable costs on states that remain under its authority, because it was initially designed for 23 states.

“EPA came back and said, ‘Even if we have fewer states, we’rehe  going to plow ahead anyway,”’ Kavanaugh said. “Let’s just kind of pretend nothing happened and just go ahead with the 11 states.”

Justice Neil Gorsuch showed he too was skeptical, suggesting the EPA proceeded “without a whole lot of explanation, and nobody got a chance to comment on that” in the rule-making process.

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