WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court by a lopsided vote on Tuesday upheld an Obama administration regulation that requires states with coal-fired power plants to reduce the air pollution that drifts across Midwest and East Coast states.
The cross-state air pollution rule covers 28 states in the eastern half of the nation. When it was announced in 2011, EPA estimated that downwind pollution from these coal-fired plants triggered more than 400,000 asthma attacks a year and caused 34,000 premature deaths.
Texas and several Midwestern states, joining with the electric power industry, sued to block the rule. They won a 2-1 ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which said the EPA had gone too far.
But the Supreme Court disagreed and revived the rule Tuesday in 6-2 ruling.