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CLIMATE SCIENCE
US Supreme Court to hear greenhouse gas cases
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Oct 16, 2013


Four dead as avalanche hits tour group in Tibet
Beijing (AFP) Oct 16, 2013 - Four people died after an avalanche hit a foreign tour group camping on the slopes of Mount Everest, the world's highest peak, Chinese state media reported Wednesday.

One of the dead was an Australian citizen and the other three were local porters, said the report on chinatibetnews.com, which cited the Dingri county government.

China's official Xinhua news agency quoted sources within the local government saying the group "entered a restricted area on the mountain without permission".

It was made up of four Australians, including the 60-year-old fatality, and six locals, it said.

Other members of the tour were rescued by emergency personnel, chinatibetnews said.

Separately, over recent days rescuers evacuated 154 tourists including 32 foreigners stranded by snowstorms in other locations near the mountain, it added.

Mount Everest is known in China as Qomolangma -- mother goddess of the snows in Tibetan.

More than 300 people have died on Everest since it was first conquered by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953.

The US Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to take on six cases related to federal regulation of greenhouse gasses, mostly brought by industry and commerce groups.

The court announced it was combining six lawsuits from plaintiffs in the chemical and oil industries, the US Chamber of Commerce, and the state of Texas, each protesting carbon-emission regulations put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency.

All six cases address just one question: Whether the agency "permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles" also related to emissions from stationary sources, such as factories and power plants, the court said.

Opponents of the regulations, interpreted from the US Clean Air Act, claim that the requirements do not apply to them.

The hearing will take place in early 2014 and marks the first time since 2007 that the court has heard such a major environmental case.

The Obama administration, environmental protection groups and 17 US states had asked the Supreme Court not to hear the case.

The court refused to consider three other appeals including on the EPA's position that emissions pose a threat to public health.

"The Court rejected pleas by big polluters and a small group of states to review the EPA's authority to limit greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and other sources when they endanger public health or welfare," the environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council said.

"That's a huge win for anybody who cares about clean air and combating climate change."

Industry groups, such as the National Association of Manufacturers, has criticized the regulations as bad for the economy.

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