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In American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut, the U.S. Supreme Court held in an 8-0 decision that the Clean Air Act displaced any federal common-law right to seek abatement of carbon-dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel-fired power plants.

Many media accounts have suggested the decision in this suit means the threat of federal climate-change tort litigation has been removed. The truth is more subtle, however, and the decision is as noteworthy for what the justices did not decide as for what they did.

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