Thursday, December 20, 2012

Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. U.S. EPA

Dec 20: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 09-1322, consolidated with dozens of other cases and involving hundreds of attorneys. On Petitions for Rehearing En Banc. On June 26, 2012, the D.C. Circuit delivered a unanimous decision in support of U.S. EPA and Administration's ability to regulate greenhouse gases (GHG) under the Clean Air Act [See WIMS 6/26/12]. Now, the full Appeals Court has issued an order denying the request for a hearing before the full panel.
    Petitioners, including various states (including Michigan) and industry groups, argued that EPA's rules were based on improper constructions of the CAA and were otherwise arbitrary and capricious. The Appeals Court ruled in June, ". . .we conclude: (1) the Endangerment Finding and Tailpipe Rule are neither arbitrary nor capricious; (2) EPA's interpretation of the governing CAA provisions is unambiguously correct; and (3) no petitioner has standing to challenge the Timing and Tailoring Rules. We thus dismiss for lack of jurisdiction all petitions for review of the Timing and Tailoring Rules, and deny the remainder of the petitions."
    The various parties then petitioned the Appeals Court for the en banc hearing. On consideration, in brief summary, the Appeals Court Order indicates, "The petition of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, joined by the State of Alaska, Peabody Energy Company, Southeastern Legal Foundation, et al., State Petitioners and Intervenors for Petitioners, for rehearing en banc; and the petition of the National Association of Manufacturers, et al. for rehearing en banc in No. 10-1073, et al. and No. 10-1167, et al., and the responses to the petitions were circulated to the full court, and a vote was requested. Thereafter, a majority of the judges eligible to participate did not vote in favor of the petitions. Upon consideration of the foregoing, it is ordered that the petitions be denied."
    The majority of Justices concluded, "To be sure, the stakes here are high. The underlying policy questions and the outcome of this case are undoubtedly matters of exceptional importance. The legal issues presented, however, are straightforward, requiring no more than the application of clear statutes and binding Supreme Court precedent. There is no cause for en banc review." Two Justices issued dissenting opinions.
    Vickie Patton, General Counsel of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) said in a release, "America's clean air laws are clear; EPA has the authority and the responsibility to address the carbon pollution that has profound consequences for our nation's health, safety and prosperity. It is now time for EPA to address the dangerous carbon pollution that comes from power plants by working with the dozens of states that have forged common sense clean energy solutions, as well as the numerous businesses that asked the President to carry out cost-saving energy efficiency solutions in reducing carbon pollution, and the communities across our nation afflicted by the clear and present danger of extreme weather that's linked to climate change."
    The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued a statement on behalf of the industry coalition saying, "While it is unfortunate that the Court denied our rehearing petition of our challenge to these costly EPA regulations, we welcome the fact that two judges wrote careful and well-reasoned dissenting opinions that supported our arguments. These rare dissents send a clear signal that significant legal issues remain to be addressed. These costly and burdensome regulations will eventually force new permitting requirements for more than 6 million stationary sources, including 200,000 manufacturing facilities, 37,000 farms and millions of other sources, such as universities, schools, hospitals and even American homes -- impacting every aspect of our economy. We will continue to fight against these regulations and are carefully considering seeking Supreme Court review. The debate over how to address climate change should take place in the halls of Congress and should foster economic growth and job creation, not impose additional costs on businesses."  
    Access the complete order, opinion and dissents (click here). Access the release with additional details from EDF (click here). Access the statement from NAM including a listing of coalition members (click here). [#Air, #Climate, #CADC]
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