Roberts "rejected an application from 20 states that said a federal appeals court in Washington had effectively thwarted their victory in the Supreme Court in June, when the justices ruled that the EPA had failed to take into account the punishing costs its mercury regulation would impose," Liptak and Davenport write. "In that 5-to-4 decision, Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency, the Supreme Court ruled that the agency had run afoul of the Clean Air Act by deciding to regulate the emissions without first undertaking a cost-benefit analysis to show the regulation to be 'appropriate and necessary.'"
"In December, a unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit allowed the mercury regulation to stay in place while the agency completed its review, noting that it 'is on track to issue a final finding' by April 15," Liptak and Davenport write.
Legal exports said "blocking the mercury rule would have had little practical impact, because most electric utilities have already put it into effect," Liptak and Davenport write. "Industry groups estimate that it has already led to the closing of about 100 coal-fired power plants. EPA has estimated that the rule will impose about $9.6 billion annually in costs to industry as they either clean up or close down coal plants." (Read more)