U.S. Supreme Court justices ruled Tuesday morning in a 6-2 vote that federal limits on the effects of air pollution across state boundaries are legal, striking down a challenge from Texas and a number of other states and industry coalitions.
Texas and the other plaintiffs first filed suit in 2011 against the Environmental Protection Agency's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.
The rule itself would identify Texas and 26 other "upwind" states as significant contributors to air pollution in "downwind" states. That means states like Texas would need to reduce their emissions accordingly. In their legal challenge, industry groups like the United Mine Workers of America had argued that the EPA's consideration of cost-effectiveness in deciding how states should limit their emissions was unfair. Texas added that the agency had not given states enough time or guidance to follow the new regulations.
The Supreme Court dismissed both of those complaints, calling the agency's use of cost-effectiveness "permissible, workable, and equitable."
Attorney General Greg Abbott's office and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the decision.
The Supreme Court is also expected to issue a ruling in the coming months in a case on federal greenhouse gas permitting rules. Justices had heard arguments in February from Texas and other states against the rules.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2014/04/29/texas-loses-fight-against-epa-air-pollution-rule/.