Correction: An earlier version of this article said that Justice Samuel A. Alito recused himself from the decision on whether to take up a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. He did not recuse himself.

The Supreme Court allowed the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions as a pollutant to stand Tuesday, even as it agreed to examine how the agency could demand greater pollution controls through the permitting process.

Groups including the oil and chemical industry had challenged several aspects of the EPA's regulatory authority, such as whether carbon dioxide constituted a pollutant under the Clean Air Act and whether the agency could limit greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles and power plants.

Both sides welcomed the Supreme Court's announcement Tuesday, though climate activists had more reasons to celebrate.