Last year the US Senate [official website] defeated a resolution [materials] aimed at limiting the ability of the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions [JURIST report] under the Clean Air Act. The measure, introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) [official website], was defeated by a vote of 53 to 47 with six Democratic senators joining the Republican caucus in supporting the measure. The US Supreme Court affirmed the EPA's ability to regulate carbon emissions under the Clear Air Act in its 2007 ruling in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report]. In its ruling, the court held that if the EPA could show a link between greenhouse gas emissions and public health and welfare then the act gives it the power to regulate emissions. The EPA announced last December [JURIST report] that it had found that greenhouse gases "threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations," and that emissions from motor vehicles contribute to greenhouse gas pollution.
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