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Supreme Court To Consider EPA’s Regulation of Greenhouse Gases

February 21, 2014 3:27 PM | Posted by Geoff Rathgeber | Topic(s): Federal Policy/Programs, Litigation, GHG / Climate Change

On February 24, 2014, the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to EPA’s rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions form stationary sources under the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration program. This case comes to Supreme Court as a consolidation of six cases after the D.C. Circuit unanimously upheld portions of the EPA’s greenhouse gas program.

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Supreme Court to Hear Climate Change Case

October 15, 2013 11:22 AM | Posted by Elise N. Paeffgen | Topic(s): Federal Policy/Programs, Litigation, GHG / Climate Change

The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will review portions of EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations addressing climate change. The court will hear a challenge to the D.C. Circuit ruling that upheld portions of EPA’s greenhouse gas program. The court accepted six petitions, linked with Coalition for Responsible Regulators v. EPA, which will be consolidated into one. The petitions aim to block EPA’s ability to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from stationary sources. By taking up the petitions, the justices will focus on one question: “Whether EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases.” The court is likely to hear arguments in January or February 2014.

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Supreme Court Delays Granting Certiorari on Climate Change Cases

October 1, 2013 2:55 PM | Posted by Elise N. Paeffgen | Topic(s): Litigation, GHG / Climate Change

Today the United States Supreme Court issued a list of cases for which it granted certiorari and denied certiorari. Missing from this list is Coalition for Responsible Regulators v. EPA, and we therefore expect the Court to issue an order regarding this case next week. After the D.C. Circuit upheld EPA’s endangerment finding for motor vehicles, its regulation of greenhouse gases from motor vehicles, the PSD and Title V Tailoring Rule, and the 1980 PSD rules, nine petitions for certiorari were filed asking the Court to reverse certain aspects of the D.C. Circuit Court’s 2012 ruling. A total of more than 80 parties, including 17 states support the petitions. A full list of cases the Court will not hear is expected to be announced on October 7, when the Court begins its next term.

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Lawsuit Challenges California’s “Cap-and-Trade” Auction As Unconstitutional

Pacific Legal Foundation filed alawsuit today in the Superior Court of California County of Sacramento challenging California’s cap-and-trade auction. The suit was filed on behalf of a broad group of California businesses, trade associations and individuals, who believe the auction process acts as an unconstitutional tax because it was not enacted by two-thirds majorities in both chambers of the California Legislature, which is required by the California Constitution. The lawsuit states that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) instituted the auction as a plan to raise billions of dollars in revenue without direction from the Legislature. They argue, if citizens and corporations must obey the state Constitution, shouldn’t an agency of the California government?

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Court of Appeals Not to Take up CSAPR Challenge

January 29, 2013 9:34 AM | Posted by Greissing, Patrick | Topic(s): State Policy/Programs, Litigation, GHG / Climate Change

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia declined to grant a rehearing of EME Homer City Generation LP v. EPA, a case that challenged EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). The court, in a 2-1 ruling in August, vacated the CSAPR. The court stated that EPA was exceeding its statutory authority, as the agency should allow states to develop their own rules to address emissions and CSAPR could have required states to account for more emissions than necessary. EPA hoped to challenge the ruling of the court and asked for an en banc hearing, so that the case could be heard before all eight of the circuit’s judges. However, a majority of the judges voted against the request, so the court will not rehear the case. The question now is whether EPA will take its challenge to the Supreme Court.

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U.S. Court of Appeals Throws Out Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled today by a 2-1 margin that EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) exceeded EPA’s statutory authority. CSAPR was to put a limit on sulfur dioxide emissions in 28 states, but the court issued a last minute stay at the end of 2011 before the rule went into effect.

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Court of Appeals Upholds EPA GHG Emissions Rules

June 26, 2012 3:10 PM | Posted by patrick.greissing@alston.com | Topic(s): Federal Policy/Programs, Litigation

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Court issued its decision on industry petitions concerning the Environmental Protection Agency’s(EPA) rules limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The main focus of the suit was on EPA’s “tailoring” rule, which requires only major polluters to obtain permits for their greenhouse gas emissions. The three judge panel denied this challenge from industry groups. The judges also dismissed all petition for EPA’s “tailpipe” rule, which set standards for cars and light-duty trucks beginning in the 2012 model year; and the “timing” rule, which focused on limiting greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources. The decision by the court resulted in a victory for the EPA and the Obama administration and is a big blow to a number of industry groups.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Federal Common Law Nuisance Suit

June 20, 2011 4:33 PM | Posted by Jonathan Wells | Topic(s): Federal Policy/Programs, Litigation

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled(8-0) today that six states cannot seek to limit greenhouse gas emissions through a tort action based on federal common law. The Court's opinion can be accessed here. The Court ruled that the Clean Air Act and the efforts of the Obama administration to regulate greenhouse gasses preempts the states’ claims. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in American Electric Power v. Connecticut in mid April, and we blogged about it here.

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Cap and Trade Hits Snag in California

March 23, 2011 10:10 AM | Posted by Maureen Gorsen | Topic(s): State Policy/Programs, Litigation, Energy Policy

California’s attempt to implement a cap-and-trade program as part of its comprehensive global warming legislation, AB 32 has hit yet another legal snag. We have previously blogged about the legal challenges facing cap-and-trade here. On Friday, Judge Ernest Goldsmith ruled that the California Air Resources Board had not looked hard enough at alternatives to a cap-and-trade program. Goldsmith in his ruling said that the state must first analyze other alternatives, such as a carbon tax, and explain why the state did not choose them before they can implement a cap-and-trade program. The ruling does not prohibit the state from continuing to develop the cap-and-trade program. It is expected that CARB will appeal the ruling.

California Court Puts Tentative Hold on GHG Rules

February 2, 2011 11:41 AM | Posted by Maureen Gorsen | Topic(s): State Policy/Programs, Litigation, Energy Policy

On January 21, 2011, a California state court issued a tentative ruling on the case Association of Irritated Residents, et al. v. California Air Resources Board (CARB). The case was originally filed in the San Francisco County Superior Court in 2009 and accused CARB of illegally approving their regulatory “scoping plan.” 

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