Supreme Court hearing arguments in case that deals with climate change, executive power

The Associated Press

FILE - This Oct. 15, 2013, file photo shows the Supreme Court in Washington the day the court's justices said they would be reviewing whether or not the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its authority in developing rules aimed at cutting emissions of six heat-trapping gases from factories and power plants. Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, the Court will hear arguments on the unanimous federal appeals court ruling that upheld the government's unprecedented regulations aimed at reducing the gases blamed for global warming. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

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By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court appears divided over an Obama administration program aimed at limiting power plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.

The justices on Monday took on a small piece of the politically charged issue of cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The court's liberal justices seemed comfortable with the scope of an Environmental Protection Agency program that applies to companies that want to expand facilities or build new ones that would increase overall pollution.

However, conservative members of the bench indicated they're skeptical of the EPA's authority, with Justice Anthony Kennedy as the probable decisive vote.

One potentially narrow outcome would preserve the bulk of the program for facilities that already emit other pollutants that are regulated by the EPA.

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