'The Wind Bloweth': Court Gives Obama Victory on Smog
Ginsburg quotes Bible in siding with EPA on coal plants
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2014 6:46 PM CDT
A smokestack in Hazleton, Pa.   (AP Photo/Hazleton Standard-Speaker, Ellen F. O'Connell)

(Newser) – A Bible verse is getting heavy quotation today in a Supreme Court decision seen as a big victory for the EPA and the White House on air pollution. In her majority opinion, Ruth Bader Ginsburg cited the Gospel according to John, notes the Washington Post: “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth.” In this case, she was talking about the wind that bloweth air pollution from coal-fired plants across state lines, and her ruling upheld the EPA's authority to regulate it.

The New York Times calls it "a major environmental victory for the Obama administration," and SCOTUSblog agrees that it's a "clear victory for the EPA." The result is that about 1,000 power plants will have to put into place new pollution controls to limit nitrogen and sulfur emissions, reports the Guardian. The problem of air pollution blowing from coal-burning states into states downwind—think Ohio and Kentucky vs. Connecticut and New York—is a complex one, Ginsburg wrote, and the EPA must have the leeway to deal with the "vagaries of the wind." She thinks the EPA got it right with its current formula, though Antonin Scalia disagreed in his dissent. The case, he wrote, underscores "the major problem that many citizens have with the federal government these days: that they are governed not so much by their elected representatives as by an unelected bureaucracy operating under vague statutory standards.”

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
'The Wind Bloweth': Court Gives Obama Victory on Smog is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 62 comments
May 1, 2014 4:20 PM CDT
Here's another perfect example of why republicans are significantly worse than democrats and should never be elected to legislative positions of power. Republicans are not conservatives, republicans are capitalists who not only rape the environment for profit, but attack people who think we should leave the planet better than we inherited it. Only the profit greedy few could ever justifiably vote republican.
Apr 30, 2014 12:36 PM CDT
Oh, From the photo I thought we had another pope throw in the towel.
Apr 30, 2014 11:09 AM CDT
Obama wants to destroy coal fired electric producing plants and at the same time espousing we should go to electric cars. How will we power these cars? Instead he should be helping these companies (coal fired plants) scrub their emissions with some of those billions (more than 90 billion) he's wasted on FAILED green energy projects.