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The Editors

The Supreme Court Can't Save Coal

But protecting children's health will have to wait a little longer.
And how much does this cost?

And how much does this cost?

Photographer: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

It took 41 years from the time it was enacted by Congress for the Clean Air Act to limit the amount of mercury and other poisonous substances that coal-fired power plants are allowed spew into the air. A ruling Monday from the Supreme Court, which struck those limits on something very close to a technicality, means that some parts of the country will have to wait longer. But make no mistake: Coal's slide into obsolescence will not be stopped.

QuickTake Confronting Coal