The jury's still out on whether Monday's Supreme Court ruling will have any effect on the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule to limit carbon emissions from power plants.
Both opponents and defenders of the EPA push claimed victory in the 5-4 and 7-2 decisions on a pair of EPA permitting programs for large industrial emissions sources, a reflection of the nuanced case before the high court.
The Supreme Court, in a majority opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia, ruled the EPA could not require companies wishing to expand or modify existing facilities to get a pre-construction permit under the programs in question simply because they emit greenhouse gases.
The ruling also said that the EPA had improperly interpreted the Clean Air Act to mean it must regulate greenhouse gas emissions. It noted the agency cannot rewrite the Clean Air Act to work within the framework of directly regulating those emissions from major stationary sources, as it had attempted to do to avoid regulating entities such as schools and churches.