Both the science behind climate change and the efficacy of life-saving safety standards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had a trying week in Washington, D.C., as industry-backed lawsuits and politicians attempted to undermine the entire scientific community.
The EPA is currently battling two major legal obstacles in the courts over the agency's authority to enact and enforce provisions of the Clean Air Act. This is a power that the U.S. Supreme Court had already ruled was not only within the agency’s jurisdiction, but a duty that it had to perform for the American public.
One of the legal battles took place at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where the EPA defended its work to limit the amount of mercury and arsenic that energy companies are allowed to release into the air. According to NRDC, these health standards that are under attack from the dirty energy industry have the potential to save as many as 45,000 lives a year.
Based on the D.C. Circuit’s previous rulings regarding the Clean Air Act, it is likely that the EPA will be the victor in this case.