Supreme Court limits EPA authority on greenhouse gases

The U.S. Supreme court has placed limits on an Obama Administration program to regulate power plant and industrial emissions of gasses blamed for global warming.

The justices said in their decision Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot force companies to evaluate ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions when a company needs a permit to expand facilities or build new ones that would increase net pollution.

The outcome preserves EPA's authority to regulate facilities that emit pollutants other than greenhouse gases. Under the ruling, the agency will be able to regulate 83 percent of all greenhouse gases emitted from plants nationwide.

The decision does not affect the recent EPA proposal for national standards for new and existing power plants. The EPA recently proposed a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, but that proposal won't go into effect for another two years.