Clean Power Plan
The new rule has hardly any of the features that caused the Supreme Court to strike down the Obama rule.
We’ve already started to hear claims that the Biden power plant rule falls under the major question doctrine, which the Supreme Court used to strike down Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Are those claims plausible? Consider the aspects of the Clean Power Plan that the Supreme Court found objectionable. I’ve identified eight factors that the Court …CONTINUE READING
The current Justices are no friends of presidential power.
As recent scholarship has shown, the Supreme Court has been increasingly aggressive in countering exercises of presidential power. From the environmental perspective, West Virginia v. EPA is the most relevant example of the Court’s efforts to cut the presidency down to size. True, the Court purported to be chastising EPA, part of the bureaucracy. Yet …CONTINUE READING
It’s not the game changer some people think, but IRA could help in several ways.
There’s been a lot of recent talk about whether the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) indirectly overrides West Virginia v. EPA. The answer to that is probably “no.” However, some IRA provisions will help lawyers defend certain regulatory actions. IRA may also have an important framing effect when courts are considering the reasonableness of agency actions. …CONTINUE READING
We’re beginning to get a clearer understanding of the major questions doctrine.
In November, I wrote a post posing “some major questions about the major questions doctrine.” In West Virginia v. EPA, Chief Justice Roberts starts supplying some answers to those questions. In particular, he seems to be using a narrower four-factor approach to decide what constitutes a “major question.” As we all know, the West Virginia case …CONTINUE READING
This video lays out the issues, what the Court did, and where EPA can go from here.CONTINUE READING
Yesterday’s decision leaves open a powerful regulatory tool.
What can EPA do to cut carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants after yesterday’s decision in West Virginia v. EPA? The decision clearly ruled out any direct mandate to shift generation from coal generators to cleaner power generators. But the Supreme Court didn’t endorse Trump’s ultra-limited interpretation of the law either. This leaves EPA with …CONTINUE READING
The ruling in West Virginia v. EPA was about as good as we could expect given the makeup of the Court.
Today, the Supreme Court decided its most important environmental case since 2007. We didn’t dodge the bullet. It’s more than a flesh wound but it didn’t hit any vital organs . Chief Justice Roberts’s majority opinion leaves EPA other options to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. It also gives a fairly narrow reading …CONTINUE READING
The Supreme Court is almost certain to cut back on EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gases. What then?
In West Virginia v. EPA, the Supreme Court is reviewing Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan (CPP) itself no longer has any practical relevance, but there’s every reason to predict the Court will strike it down anyway. The ruling will also restrict EPA’s future options. The big question is what the Biden Administration …CONTINUE READING
Here’s what you need to know about today’s oral argument in W. Va. v. EPA
The Supreme Court is hearing oral argument this morning in West Virginia v. EPA. The case is a challenge by the coal industry and coal states to EPA’s power to limit carbon emissions by power plants. Here’s what to look for today. Q: What is the case about? A: In practical terms, the question is what EPA …CONTINUE READING
Sean Hecht and Ted Lamm co-author amicus brief on behalf of Clean Air Act expert Tom Jorling
This week, Sean Hecht and I filed an amicus brief at the Supreme Court in West Virginia v. EPA in defense of EPA’s authority to effectively regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Our client is Tom Jorling, a former Senate staffer and EPA official who was directly involved in drafting the Act …CONTINUE READING