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U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Bush Policy on Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Public and political opinion are increasingly focused on global warming


In the nine months since the court first agreed to hear Massachusetts vs. EPA, the tide of public and political opinion has begun to turn on the dangers of global warming and the urgency of finding concrete solutions.

Since the Democrats took control of Congress in January 2007, following the mid-term elections in November 2006, global warming and other environmental issues have become political priorities. Businesses, recognizing the change and the market opportunities it signals, have started investing heavily in green technologies and environmental strategies.

Meanwhile, thousands of leading international scientists contributed to a comprehensive report released in February 2007 that confirmed that humans are responsible for the accelerated rate of global warming occurring today, and the trend is likely unstoppable.

During the same period, former Vice President Al Gore gained worldwide recognition as an environmental leader. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and his documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth, won two Academy Awards.

Another Legal Victory for the Environment
In a second case, Environmental Defense vs. Duke Energy, the Supreme Court ruled that industrial smokestacks and power plants must meet today's cost-effective pollution control standards when facilities are refurbished.

"This is a huge win for clean air,” said Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense. “The Court ruled unanimously that companies have to use the latest cost effective technology to reduce pollution when they upgrade their plants. This is not a legal abstraction—it means we'll have cleaner air and less childhood asthma. We're very proud of our work in this case—it's going to make a real difference in people's lives."

To learn the details of this historic Supreme Court ruling, see Page 1.

Background on Massachusetts vs. EPA:

Read the U.S. Supreme Court opinions in both cases: Information from other guides at About.com:

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