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US court overturns coal pollution ruling

22 Aug 2012

The Guardian

A US appeals court overturned a key Obama administration rule to reduce harmful emissions from coal-fired power plants on Tuesday.

The Columbia district circuit appeals court said in a 2-1 decision that the Environmental Protection Agency had exceeded its mandate with the rule, which was to limit sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from power plants in 28 mostly eastern states and Texas.

The court sent the cross-state air pollution rule for revision, telling the agency to administer its existing clean air interstate rule - the Bush-era regulation that it was updating - in the interim. The EPA said it was reviewing the ruling.

The decision was cheered by Republicans who have made the EPA and President Barack Obama's environmental policies a major campaign issue ahead of November elections. The agency is risking a fragile economic recovery by saddling US industries with costly new rules, Republicans say.

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