The Loony Legacy of Massachusetts vs. EPA: Or, Is Mississippi Burning?

The United States Supreme Court, normally a careful and conventional body, can nevertheless make mistakes. Such was the case in their ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA in 2007, where the Court held that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was arbitrary and capricious when it denied the State of Massachusetts’ petition requesting that the EPA regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. The Supreme Court believed there was a scientific basis for Massachusetts’ claim that anthropogenic activities (namely, the burning of fossil fuels) contributed to global warming, and the subsequent effects of rising sea levels, eroding shorelines, and other harms.

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