In late October, the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ rejection of challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) current greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations in Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA. While there was hope within industry circles that the Supreme Court would use the opportunity to limit the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases, the Court narrowed its review solely to the question of whether the Clean Air Act (CAA) required the EPA to regulate GHG emissions from stationary sources (i.e., power plants and factories), as a result of its regulation of GHGs from mobile sources (i.e., cars and trucks). If the Court rules against the EPA, it will delay but not preclude the regulation of stationary sources. As a result of this decision, counsel should not expect a wholesale evisceration of the EPA’s authority to regulate GHG emissions.
A glance into the Clean Air Act