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Oral Argument Set for Supreme Court Review of GHG Case

Posted Thursday, December 12th, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court has scheduled oral argument for February 24, 2014, in Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. EPA.  UARG, among others, is appealing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s 2012 decision to deny or dismiss numerous challenges to a series of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) greenhouse gas (GHG) related rulemakings.

The challenged rulemakings include EPA’s “Endangerment Finding,” which concluded that GHGs are reasonably anticipated to endanger public health; EPA’s “Tailpipe Rule,” which set GHG emission standards for cars and light trucks, and (under EPA’s interpretation) triggered regulation of GHGs from stationary sources under the prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) and Title V provisions of the Clean Air Act (CAA); EPA’s “Timing Rule,” which established January 2, 2011, as the effective date for regulation of GHGs under PSD and Title V; and EPA’s “Tailoring Rule,” which established 75,000/100,000 ton per year (tpy) thresholds for applicability of PSD or Title V regulation for GHGs, respectively, as opposed to the 100/250 tpy thresholds currently in the CAA.  HGS previously reported on the D.C. Circuit’s decision in more detail, as available here.

In response to the D.C. Circuit’s decision, UARG and eight other parties filed Petitions for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Court granted certiorari on October 15, 2013, but limited its review to “[w]hether 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.”  Briefing is expected to be complete by the end of January 2014, and the Court has allotted one hour for oral argument on February 24, 2013.

For additional information, contact Andrew Holway.

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