WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday on a case concerning the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
Specifically, arguments will center on the permitting process by focusing on Massachusetts v. EPA—a 2007 ruling that supported the EPA’s authority, under the Clean Air Act, to limit emissions of greenhouse gases from vehicles.
Since then, the EPA has used that ruling to develop emissions standards for other sources, including power plants, chemical facilities, refineries and other facilities. The EPA has defended its regulatory expansion by claiming greenhouse gases are a danger to public health and welfare.
The question before the U.S. Supreme Court is whether the EPA’s emissions standards for vehicles under the Clean Air Act trigger similar requirements, during permitting, for those larger sources. Some states and industry groups are challenging that.
The case is not about the EPA’s overall authority to regulate greenhouse gases and, whatever the ruling, it is not expected to change the emissions limits the EPA is in the process of developing or implementing for new and existing power plants.
For Monday, the usual 60 minutes allotted for arguments in front of the U.S. Supreme Court has been expanded to 90 minutes.
Gov.Earl Ray Tomblin spent the weekend in Washington, D.C., for the National Governor’s Association’s Winter Meeting. He said he planned to meet with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy during to the trip to “discuss reasonable standards to balance the environment and economic opportunity.”