Editorializing in favor of the Environmental Protection Agency’s unprecedented greenhouse gas regulations [“Clearing the air,” Feb. 24], The Post stated that the Supreme Court “recently held” that “the EPA’s greenhouse gas program represents a comprehensive climate change policy.” But The Post should read American Electric Powerv. Connecticut more closely. The court was talking about an entirely different regulatory program: the “new source performance standards” program. The EPA program now being reviewed by the court — for “prevention of significant deterioration” — was not mentioned by the court’s analysis in American Electric Power, let alone endorsed by the court in American Electric Power.
In fact, the court’s unanimous opinion in American Electric Power criticized the notion that greenhouse gas emissions should be controlled by regulatory permits — precisely the sort of mechanism that the EPA is now trying to impose.
The Post also should give the 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA a closer read. The court did not hold that greenhouse gases are a pollutant for the entire Clean Air Act — it held only that they are a pollutant for one part of the act governing automobiles. The environmentalists themselves argued in that case that auto regulations would not trigger non-auto regulations.
C. Boyden Gray, Washington
The writer worked on the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 while serving as White House counsel to President George H.W. Bush.