U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments on global warming

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The United States Supreme Court will hear arguments this Wednesday to determine whether the Bush administration must regulate carbon dioxide emissions to deal with the global warming threat. The case is presented by a group of environmentalists and leaders of some large cities.

The coalition, led by Massachusetts, demanded to review the case and insisted that carbon-dioxide is harmful to the environment as much as lead and smog-causing elements. The Bush administration is expected to argue before the court that the EPA has lacked the power under the Clean Air Act to regulate CO2 as a pollutant.

Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly and others have argued that this case is very important from the point of view of the Environmental Protection Agency's statutory responsibilities to deal with the most pressing environmental problem.

The case comes just a few weeks after a federal government report concluded that far fewer polar bear cubs are surviving off Alaska's northern coast, something many environmentalists are blaming on global warming. Also earlier this month the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that signs of warming continue in the Arctic with a decline in sea ice, an increase in shrubs growing on the tundra, and rising concerns about the Greenland ice sheet.