The Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday in a challenge by industry groups and conservative states to the Environmental Protection Agency’s initial greenhouse gas rules for large pollution sources like power plants and factories.
The justices are exploring whether EPA, early in the Obama administration, erred by deciding that regulation of vehicle tailpipe emissions triggered greenhouse gas permit requirements for these big stationary polluters.
On its face the case is pretty narrow. It’s not about EPA’s underlying authority to regulate heat-trapping emissions, and it’s not about upcoming carbon dioxide standards for power plants.
Instead it centers on a Clean Air Act permitting program that requires large new and modified pollution sources to take steps to limits emissions. (In practice this has meant improvements in energy efficiency that many companies were undertaking anyway, the head an association of state regulators said last October when Supreme Court announced it would hear the case.)
But the stakes ““ political and otherwise ““ are nonetheless high and the case has attracted heavy involvement from regulated industries, environmentalists, and states that are both attacking and defending EPA.
As the Associated Press notes in a story on the case: “[A] court ruling against EPA almost undoubtedly would be used to challenge every step of the agency’s effort to deal with climate change, said Jacob Hollinger, a partner with the McDermott Will and Emery law firm in New York and a former EPA lawyer.”
Harvard University law professor Richard Lazarus, a longtime expert on environmental law, tells The Washington Post that if EPA loses, “you can be sure the court’s decision will be read as a repudiation of what Obama’s doing.”
But the same Post table-setter on the case notes that an EPA victory could be read as an affirmation of President Obama’s push to tackle climate change using executive powers.
Parties challenging EPA include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, refining industry groups, power companies, the National Association of Manufacturers, and more.
A coalition of conservative states such as Texas and Alabama is also challenging EPA’s climate rules, while a separate coalition that includes California, New York and Massachusetts is defending the regulators.
The American Bar Association has a handy primer on the case and copies of all the briefs here.
- 1 Democrats Need to Keep an Eye on Republican-Tilting Independent Voters
- 2 After Trump, GOP Foreign Policy Faces an Uncertain Future
- 3 Smart Ideas: Oil Pipelines vs. Oil Trains, and the Next Generation of Biological Threats
- 4 The Story of 2016: Republicans Feeling “Betrayed” by Their Leaders
- 5 Climate Stances Put Pressure on Major Trade Groups
What We're Following See More »
The Signal app is fast becoming the new favorite among those who are obsessed with the security and untraceabilty of their messaging. Just ask the Democratic National Committee. Or Edward Snowden. As Vanity Fair reports, before news ever broke that the DNC's servers had been hacked, word went out among the organization that the word "Trump" should never be used in their emails, lest it attract hackers' attention. Not long after, all Trump-related messages, especially disparaging ones, would need to be encrypted via the Snowden-approved Signal.
Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”
Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.
Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.