major question doctrine

Why the New Climate Reg for Coal is a Perfectly Normal EPA Rule

EPA’s approach isn’t a novel innovation. It’s just EPA applying its usual approach.

The problem isn’t that EPA’s new climate regulation for power plants will crush the coal-fired generation industry. It’s that much of the industry is so economically weak it can’t survive any kind of regulation.

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The New EPA Car Rule Doesn’t Violate the Major Questions Doctrine

They both relate to climate, but West Virginia v. EPA involved a very different regulation raising very different issues.

In West Virginia v. EPA, the Supreme Court struck down the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.  The heart of the ruling was that EPA had engaged in a power grab, basing an unprecedented expansion of its regulatory authority on an obscure provision of the statute.  Conservative groups have claimed since then that virtually every government regulation …

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Reading the Tea Leaves: Biden’s and California’s Vehicle Regs at the D.C. Circuit

A leading environmental lawyer gives his perspective.

Transportation is now the source of 28% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, more than the electric power sector. The transportation sector is also a substantial source of nitrogen oxides and particulates, both of which are dangerous to human health.  The Biden Administration has taken important regulatory actions bearing on these problems, with others in the …

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What’s a Major Question? (Judicial) Opinions differ.

Scholars don’t know the answer. Nor, apparently, do the federal courts of appeals.

In West Virginia v. EPA, the Supreme Court used the “major question doctrine” to overturn Obama’s signature climate change regulation.  Once an issue reaches a certain level of significance, the Court says, Congress generally would want to make its own decision rather than allowing an agency like EPA to decide. Scholars have criticized the opinion …

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The Biden Power Plant Rule and the Major Question Doctrine

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 …

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Can The Major Questions Doctrine Break The Debt Ceiling?

NAGE’s New Lawsuit Makes A Strong Case That It Can

Last week I argued that a lawsuit from a private party challenging the debt ceiling would be a good way to break the impasse between President Biden and GOP terrorists. Well, as it turns out, someone has done just that, although not on my account. This lawsuit is better than my idea, I think, because …

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The Car Rule and the Major Questions Doctrine

Claims that the new rule violates the doctrine are groundless.

Ever since the Supreme Court decided West Virginia v. EPA, conservatives and industry interests have claimed that just about every new regulation violates the major question doctrine. When the Biden Administration ramped up fuel efficiency requirements through 2026, ideologues such as the Heartland Institute and states like Texas were quick to wheel out this attack. …

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West Virginia v. EPA: A Quick Explainer

This video lays out the issues, what the Court did, and where EPA can go from here.

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Major Questions About Today’s Big Climate Case

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 …

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Today’s Vaccine Cases: Implications for Climate Change Regulation

Today’s ruling are (somewhat) good news in terms of West Virginia v. EPA?

Today, the Court’s conservative Justices split the difference in two cases involving vaccine mandates, striking down OSHA’s mandate but upholding a more limited mandate for healthcare workers. The cases also split the conservative Justices themselves, with three hardliners (Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch) seeking a more activist ruling in the OSHA case and dissenting in the …

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