US president Barack Obama’s plans to use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases faces a setback after the US Supreme Court agreed to hear petitions opposing the rules.

The Court says that it will take six of nine petitions filed against the proposed rules that were drafted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

More than 70 business groups and public policy organizations as well as 13 states filed petitions asking the high court to review various aspects of the new regulations.

The EPA and environmental groups argue that the regulations are necessary to protect the environment, while business groups and other opponents believe that the rules will harm the US economy.

Laura Sheehan of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) said that the Supreme Court had taken "an important step" by agreeing to review the regulations.

"EPA’s carbon regulations for the coal fleet will be economically damaging, while having no practical effect on global climate change," said Sheehan. "Already, EPA regulations have contributed to the closure of more than 300 coal units in 33 states. ACCCE is hopeful the Court will strike down these regulations."

The court has declined to hear petitions challenging EPA’s endangerment finding – that greenhouse gases pose a threat to public health. It will hear a single question: whether the EPA determined correctly that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles should trigger similar regulations from stationary sources such as power plants.

The question has been crafted by the court from the six petitions. The court is not expected to rule until next year.