High court upholds emissions rule Texas and others challenged

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday handed the Obama administration an important environmental victory by upholding a rule that requires aging power plants in Texas and other states to sharply reduce emissions that contribute to unhealthy air in neighboring states.
With the 6-2 decision, the high court concluded that the regulation, known as the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, is a “permissible, workable and equitable” way under the federal Clean Air Act to protect downwind states from air pollution that crosses state lines.
A Texas-led coalition of states and several power companies challenged the legality of the rule, which imposes caps on nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide from coal-fired power plants in eastern states. Texas, one of the affected states, contended that some utilities would shutter plants to comply with the rule, threatening the state’s ability to keep the lights on.
The Supreme Court’s decision overturned a lower-court ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency had overstepped its authority with the regulation.
Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented. Justice Samuel Alito did not participate in the case.