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High court climate case looks at EPA’s power
In addition to environmental groups, New York, California, Illinois and a dozen other states are supporting the administration, along with the American Thoracic Society, which filed a brief detailing the health costs of climate change.
Also in support of the regulation is Calpine Corp., which operates natural gas and geothermal power plants around the nation. Calpine said it has gone through the permitting program six times and found it "neither overly burdensome nor unworkable."
Looking at the same program, the Chamber of Commerce said it "may be the costliest, most intrusive regulatory program the nation has yet seen."
Like most environmental disputes, the current case is certainly complicated, if not bewildering.
Confusion figured in one of the court's most significant decisions, written by Justice John Paul Stevens in 1984, giving EPA and other federal agencies wide latitude to come up with rules that put meat on the bones of congressional enactments.
"When I am so confused, I go with the agency," Stevens told his colleagues, according to notes taken by Justice Harry Blackmun and contained in the papers that were made public a few years after Blackmun's death.
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