Reuters (2/24, Hurley) the Supreme Court on Monday will hear the case Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, which consolidates several challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases. Ross Eisenberg, the vice-president for energy and resources policy at National Association of Manufacturers, said, “We remain concerned that if the EPA continues to stretch the boundaries of the Clean Air Act and apply it to greenhouse gases, it could have dire consequences for our members.”
In October, AFP (2/24, Santini) reports, the court said it would review a petition by the National Association of Manufacturers and other business groups challenging the agency’s greenhouse gas regulations. NAM and other business groups have said the rules are harming the economy. NAM president and CEO Jay Timmons said the rules were “one of the most costly, complex and harmful regulatory issues facing manufacturers and threatening our global competitiveness.”
The Washington Post (2/24, Barnes) reports the justices will consider whether their 2007 ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA, which gave the EPA the power to regulate emissions from motor vehicles, also allows the agency to regulate stationary sources such as power plants.
The Los Angeles Times (2/22, Savage) reported that EPA regulations requiring stationary facilities to limit carbon emissions “could hit a snag in the Supreme Court,” where industry groups and Republican-led states have asked justices to block the regulations.
The Dallas Morning News (2/22, Lindenberger) provides some background on the case before the Supreme Court and notes that the EPA’s proposed “tailoring” of CO2 thresholds is one point of contention. Without this adjustment, applying the Clean Air Act to carbon emissions would affect too many facilities, because existing “limits were designed with other pollutants in mind, and have limits so low that, as the EPA acknowledged, an ‘absurd’ number — millions — of facilities would need permits.” Plaintiffs are alleging “that the EPA’s ‘tailoring’ of the new standards is only temporary. Unless the law is changed,” they say, the regulations will eventually impact all of those facilities.
The Hill (2/24, Barron-Lopez) reports in its “E2 Wire” blog that, while the ruling would not “directly impact Obama’s controversial proposal to curb carbon emissions from existing power plants,” it might lead to delays in that rule.