Court Reinstates Bush Clean Air Rule
Federal judges reverse position on clean air rule, giving Obama time to replace it
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2008 6:05 AM CST
With the Capitol Building looming in the background, a coal-fired power plant is seen in Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 31, 2007.    (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A federal appeals court has decided that a flawed clean air law is better than no clean air law, the New York Times reports. Reversing an earlier judgment, the court ruled to temporarily reinstate the Clean Air Interstate Rule—which limits emissions from coal-fired power plants in 28 states—while the EPA works to fix the rule’s “fundamental flaws.” The rule goes into effect January 1.

The court decided in July that the rule, central to the Bush administration's overhaul of the Clear Air Act, exceeded the EPA's authority. Yesterday’s reversal pleased industry groups by leaving the court’s original objections to the rule intact, while providing guidance on current operations. Environmentalists are relieved that the ruling eliminates a gap in emissions law, and hope it will be a starting point for tougher clean air laws from the new administration.