The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided not to reconsider a decision that allows the Environmental Protection Agency to continue to regulate greenhouse gases, reported The Hill.

In June, the appeals court affirmed the EPA's reading of the Clean Air Act, which gives the government agency the authority to regulate greenhouse gases.

Groups opposing the decision hoped the court might agree to reconsider that decision. A dissenting opinion on the court, written by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, said the law only allows the EPA to regulate certain pollutants not including greenhouse gases.

The Sierra Club, an environmental organization headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., praised the court's decision. “Today’s decision once again reaffirms what public health and environmental advocates have known for decades: that the Environmental Protection Agency has the responsibility under the Clean Air Act to protect American families from dangerous carbon pollution," Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement.

But the Dec. 20 decision doesn't mean that environmental groups can rest on their laurels. Energy corporations aren't pleased with the appeals court, and the head of the National Association of Manufacturers -- one of the groups that pushed the court to reconsider the June ruling -- said his organization is considering taking the issue to the Supreme Court.

[Image: "Detail Of Pollution Coming From Factory Smoke Stacks" on Shutterstock]