Inslee slams ruling on power plant emissions

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday that the U.S. Supreme Court “took a wrecking ball” to the ability of the federal government to limit pollution and said that states must redouble their efforts to address climate change.

With a 6-3 vote, the court said that the Clean Air Act does not give the Environmental Protection Agency broad authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that contribute to global warming.

“This is a health danger that we are now exposed to, and all Americans are exposed to,” Inslee said at a news conference Friday.

Republican Sen. John Braun said Thursday’s opinion was “about the rule of law.”

“It is up to Congress to authorize new regulations that the EPA has been implementing on its own, especially regulations that carry billions of dollars in economic ramifications,” he said in a written statement. “Executive-branch officials don’t get to do this themselves. It’s entirely appropriate for the Supreme Court to reinforce the separation of powers between the branches of government.”

Inslee said that ruling wouldn’t affect Washington’s efforts to transition off of coal, with the state’s only coal plant still on track to close by 2025. But he said that states will still be impacted by the ruling.