The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today upheld key actions taken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gases, including the endangerment finding, vehicle emission standards, and the tailoring rule for stationary sources.

The appeals court noted that the Supreme Court had previously ruled that the agency “had a ‘statutory obligation’ to regulate harmful greenhouse gases,” and found that “[t]he body of scientific evidence marshaled by EPA in support of the Endangerment Finding is substantial,” and that “EPA’s interpretation of the governing CAA provisions is unambiguously correct.”

Following is a statement by Kevin Kennedy, Director, U.S. Climate Initiative, World Resources Institute:

“This important ruling re-affirms EPA’s authority to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and protect people and the environment from climate change. The court ruling confirms the overwhelming scientific evidence underlying EPA’s action to control these emissions, as directed by the U.S. Congress.

“Specifically, the court ruling supports the fact that greenhouse gases “endanger human health and welfare,” as found by the U.S. Supreme Court in Massachusetts vs. EPA. It supports EPA’s action to advance stronger emissions standards for cars and light trucks, one of the most important steps taken by the United States to reduce harmful greenhouse gas pollution to date. And it supports EPA in limiting carbon pollution from the largest industrial emitters, while protecting smaller emitters (under the so-called tailoring rule).

“The scientific evidence underlying climate change and its impacts are clear. We see examples of how our world is changing all around from the record-breaking temperatures in the West to the rapidly rising seas in the Northeast.

“Today’s ruling takes away uncertainty by upholding EPA’s authority – indeed its obligation – to reduce the danger greenhouse gases represent to public health and the environment. With this ruling, EPA has strong support to continue its course.”