On February 28th and 29th a federal appeals court in Washington, DC will hear oral arguments in Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA, an aggregation of lawsuits challenging U.S. EPA’s authority to regulate climate change pollutants. The suits have been brought by industry and free-market groups seeking to overturn EPA’s greenhouse gas endangerment finding, clean car standards crafted under the Clean Air Act, and efforts to reduce industrial emissions.
EPA’s endangerment finding for climate change pollutants, required by the Supreme Court case Massachusetts v. EPA, established that “greenhouse gases … in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.” This finding, in turn, requires EPA to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. In American Electric Power v. Connecticut the Supreme Court reaffirmed its decision in Massachusetts v. EPA.
The claimants in Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA also argue that the Clean Air Act is an inappropriate mechanism for recent clean car standards. The standards in question were crafted under the Clean Air Act and the Energy Independence and Security Act, and were agreed to by the Obama administration, states, and the automobile industry in 2009.
What are Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA’s chances? What impact might the case have on EPA’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gases? On the energy sector?