This one's just breaking and we haven't read the entire decision yet from the Supreme Court, but here's the basics — cribbed from our friends at CNBC:
"The court had three questions before it. Do states have the right to sue the EPA to challenge its decision? Does the Clean Air Act give EPA the authority to regulate tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases? Does EPA have the discretion not to regulate those emissions?"
The answers to the three questions popped out today in magic eight-ball-like fashion:
3.) Try again later.
Ok, we kid on the last one. Actually they...
...ordered the EPA to re-evaluate whether it has the discretion not to regulate tailpipe emissions despite the Clean Air Act's requirements that they do so. As to what this means — it probably means it'll force the EPA to finally start regulating what comes out of the ass-end of vehicles, and that means lots of R&D dollars will need to be spent on fuel economy and on emissions reduction. Anyone got another idea like the catalytic converter hanging around the shop?