The Supreme Court announced Monday that it has agreed to hear an appeal filed by a number of states, cities and environmental groups hoping to force the federal government to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maintains that it cannot regulate CO2 emissions because the Clean Air Act does not give it the authority to do so. An appeals court ruling last year upheld the EPA position.

The appeal involves Baltimore, New York City and Washington, D.C., along with California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. The group's request for a Supreme Court ruling was opposed by the Bush administration, ten other states and a group representing electricity generating companies.

The case will be heard later this year.

[Source: Reuters]