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    West Virginia v. EPA

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    This article documents a current event. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses, and initial news reports may be unreliable. The latest updates to this article may not reflect the most current information. Feel free to improve this article or discuss changes on the talk page, but please note that updates without valid and reliable references will be removed.

    West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency

    Supreme Court of the United States

    Argued February 28, 2022

    Decided June 30, 2022

    Full case name Docket nos. 20-1530 20-1531 20-1778 20-1780

    Citations 597 U.S. ___ ()

    2022 WL 2347278

    2022 U.S. LEXIS 3268

    Argument Oral argument

    Decision Opinion Questions presented

    Petition in 20-1530:

    In 42 U.S.C § 7411 (d)[1], an ancillary provision of the Clean Air Act, did Congress constitutionally authorize the Environmental Protection Agency to issue significant rules—including those capable of reshaping the nation’s electricity grids and unilaterally decarbonizing virtually any sector of the economy—without any limits on what the agency can require so long as it considers cost, nonair impacts, and energy requirements?

    Petition in 20-1531:

    Whether § 7411(d), which authorizes the EPA to impose standards "for any existing source" based on limits "achievable through the application of the best system of emission reduction" that has been "adequately demonstrated," grants the EPA authority not only to impose standards based on technology and methods that can be applied at and achieved by that existing source, but also allows the agency to develop industry-wide systems like cap-and-trade regimes.

    Petition in 20-1778:

    Whether § 7411(d) clearly authorizes EPA to decide such matters of vast economic and political significance as whether and how to restructure the nation’s energy system.

    Petition in 20-1780:

    Can EPA promulgate regulations for existing stationary sources that require States to apply binding nationwide "performance standards" at a generation-sector-wide level, instead of at the individual source level, and can those regulations deprive States of all implementation and decision making power in creating their § 7411(d) plans?

    Holding

    Congress did not grant the Environmental Protection Agency in Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act the authority to devise emissions caps based on the generation shifting approach the Agency took in the Clean Power Plan.

    Court membership Chief Justice John Roberts Associate Justices

    Clarence Thomas · Stephen Breyer

    Samuel Alito · Sonia Sotomayor

    Elena Kagan · Neil Gorsuch

    Brett Kavanaugh · Amy Coney Barrett

    Case opinions

    Majority Roberts, joined by Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Barrett

    Concurrence Gorsuch, joined by Alito

    Dissent Kagan, joined by Breyer, Sotomayor

    Laws applied Clean Air Act

    , 597 U.S. ___ (2022), was a U.S. Supreme Court case related to the Clean Air Act and the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate carbon dioxide emissions related to climate change.

    The case centers on the Clean Power Plan (CPP) proposed by the EPA in 2015 by the Obama administration. Among the provisions, the CPP had included regulation at existing power plants under Section 7411(d) of Title 42 of the United States Code to implement "within the fence line" emissions reduction technology and "outside the fence line" generation shifting to alternative clean energy sources such as solar and wind power. The generation shifting aspects of the CPP were challenged by several states and coal industry companies, and the CPP was stayed by the courts and never came into enforcement. The Trump administration's EPA put forth a less-aggressive Affordable Clean Power rule in 2019 which was similarly challenged by other states and stayed by courts. The stay was challenged by multiple states and coal industry companies, seeking to question the EPA's ability to regulate existing power plants under 7411(d) as proposed in the CPP.

    In a 6–3 ruling issued on June 30, 2022, the Court ruled that the regulation of existing power plants in Section 7411(d) fell under the major questions doctrine, and within that, Congress did not grant the EPA authority to regulate emissions based on generation shifting mechanisms, which would have invalidated the Clean Power Plan. The EPA may still continue to regulate emissions at existing plants through emissions reduction technologies.

    Contents

    1 Background 1.1 Clean Air Act

    1.2 Prior EPA litigation

    2 Procedural history

    2.1 Clean Power Plan

    2.2 Affordable Clean Energy rule

    3 Supreme Court

    3.1 Opinion of the Court

    4 Impact 5 References 6 External links

    Background[edit]

    Clean Air Act[edit]

    Main article: Clean Air Act (United States)

    As part of the amended Clean Air Act (CAA), under § 7411(d) (or Section 111 in the proposed bill), Congress granted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority to identify the "best system of emission reduction" from power generating plants or other large stationary sources, and work with states to complete implementation plans to incorporate those systems. This authority was split between two regulations, one covering emissions controls for new plants, outlined at § 7411(b), and another controlling emissions at existing plants, at § 7411(d). Within the scope of § 7411(d), while the EPA itself cannot set taxes or fines on plants that fail to meet emission standards, it can work with states in their implementation plans to force generating plants to install emissions control technology or to participate in emissions trading programs, or allow states to implement their own taxes on violating plants.[2] Compared to the EPA's use of § 7411(b) in overseeing new plants, the EPA had rarely evoked § 7411(d) in any of its rule-making, and thus § 7411(d) realized less legal scrutiny compared to other parts of the Clean Air Act.[2]

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency

    Independent News and Analysis on the U.S. Supreme Court

    West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency

    Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Email PrintFriendly Share Consolidated with:

    Westmoreland Mining Holdings, LLC v. Environmental Protection Agency

    North American Coal Corp. v. Environmental Protection Agency

    North Dakota v. Environmental Protection Agency

    Linked with:

    North American Coal Corp. v. Environmental Protection Agency

    Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term

    20-1530 D.C. Cir. Feb 28, 2022 Jun 30, 2022 6-3 Roberts OT 2021

    Holding: Congress did not grant the Environmental Protection Agency in Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act the authority to devise emissions caps based on the generation shifting approach the agency took in the Clean Power Plan.Judgment: Reversed and remanded, 6-3, in an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts on June 30, 2022. Justice Gorsuch filed a concurring opinion, in which Justice Alito joined. Justice Kagan filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Breyer and Sotomayor joined.

    SCOTUSblog Coverage

    Supreme Court curtails EPA’s authority to fight climate change (Amy Howe, June 30, 2022)

    Announcement of opinions for Thursday, June 30 (complete) (Angie Gou, June 30, 2022)

    In climate-change case, justices grapple with EPA’s role, congressional intent, and their own jurisdiction (Amy Howe, February 28, 2022)

    Greenhouse gases and “major questions”: Justices to hear argument on EPA’s power to tackle climate change (Amy Howe, February 27, 2022)

    Climate change and immigration policies headline February argument calendar (Amy Howe, December 17, 2021)

    Justices agree to review EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases (Amy Howe, October 29, 2021)

    No new relists, but you should read anyway (John Elwood, October 27, 2021)

    Foreign intelligence surveillance and immigration (John Elwood, October 14, 2021)

    Free exercise, greenhouse-gas regulation, and a slew of other relists from the long conference (John Elwood, October 5, 2021)

    More warrantless searches, more abortion and more Second Amendment (Andrew Hamm, May 21, 2021)

    Date Proceedings and Orders (key to color coding)

    Apr 29 2021 Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due June 3, 2021)

    May 26 2021 Blanket Consent filed by Petitioner, State of West Virginia, et al.

    May 27 2021 Motion to extend the time to file a response from June 3, 2021 to July 6, 2021, submitted to The Clerk.

    May 28 2021 Motion to extend the time to file a response is granted and the time is extended to and including July 6, 2021, for all respondents.

    May 28 2021 Brief of respondent National Mining Association in support filed.

    Jun 02 2021 Brief of respondent Basin Electric Power Cooperative in support filed.

    Jun 03 2021 Brief amicus curiae of Commonwealth of Kentucky filed.

    Jun 03 2021 Brief of respondent America's Power in support filed.

    Jun 25 2021 Motion to extend the time to file a response from July 6, 2021 to August 5, 2021, submitted to The Clerk.

    Jun 28 2021 Motion to extend the time to file a response is granted and the time is further extended to and including August 5, 2021, for all respondents.

    Aug 05 2021 Brief of respondents Consolidated Edison, Inc., Exelon Corporation, National Grid USA, New York Power Authority, Power Companies Climate Coalition, and Sacramento Municipal Utility District in opposition filed. VIDED.

    Aug 05 2021 Brief of respondents Non-Governmental Organization and Trade Association Respondents in opposition filed. VIDED.

    Aug 05 2021 Brief of respondents U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al. in opposition filed. VIDED.

    Aug 05 2021 Brief of respondents States and Municipalities in opposition filed. VIDED.

    Aug 24 2021 Reply of petitioners State of West Virginia, et al. filed. (Distributed)

    Aug 25 2021 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 9/27/2021.

    Oct 04 2021 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 10/8/2021.

    Oct 12 2021 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 10/15/2021.

    Oct 25 2021 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 10/29/2021.

    Oct 29 2021 Petition GRANTED. The petitions for writs of certiorari in No. 20-1531 and No. 20-1780 are granted. The petition for a writ of certiorari in No. 20-1778 is granted limited to Question 2 presented by the petition. The cases are consolidated, and a total of one hour is allotted for oral argument. The motion of Lignite Energy Council for leave to file a brief as amicus curiae is granted. VIDED.

    Nov 04 2021 Because the Court has consolidated these cases for briefing and oral argument, future filings and activity in the cases will now be reflected on the docket of No. 20-1530. Subsequent filings in these cases must therefore be submitted through the electronic filing system in No. 20-1530. Each document submitted in connection with one or more of these cases must include on its cover the case number and caption for each case in which the filing is intended to be submitted. Where a filing is submitted in fewer than all of the cases, the docket entry will reflect the case number(s) in which the filing is submitted; a document filed in all of the consolidated cases will be noted as “VIDED.”

    Nov 10 2021 Blanket Consent filed by petitioners, State of West Virginia, et al. VIDED.

    Nov 10 2021 Blanket Consent filed by petitioner, North American Coal Corporation in No. 20-1531. VIDED.

    Source : www.scotusblog.com

    Supreme Court ruling West Virginia v. EPA chills Biden climate agenda

    The Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday limiting the EPA's ability to regulate carbon emissions could have far-reaching consequences, according to legal experts.

    Supreme Court’s EPA ruling upends Biden’s environmental agenda

    Supreme Court’s EPA ruling upends Biden’s environmental agenda The conservative justices’ decision in West Virginia v. EPA comes amid other legal challenges to the president’s climate policies

    By Maxine Joselow

    Updated June 30, 2022 at 2:02 p.m. EDT|Published June 30, 2022 at 12:21 p.m. EDT

    Supreme Court’s historic EPA ruling, explained

    1:29

    This video is currently not available

    The decision on June 30 sharply cut back the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to reduce the carbon output of power plants. (Video: Libby Casey/The Washington Post)

    The Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon emissions could have far-reaching consequences, according to legal experts, which could curb President Biden’s ambitious plans to tackle climate change along with air and water pollution.

    10 steps you can take to lower your carbon footprint

    The 6-to-3 decision in , where the court ruled the agency overstepped its authority with rules to cut power plants’ planet-warming pollution, comes as conservatives are waging a larger legal battle to rein in the federal government’s ability to tackle pressing environmental problems.

    The outcome of those cases could determine whether the fight over U.S. environmental policy shifts decisively to the states, where some will weaken protections as others continue to pursue strict limits on greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of pollution.

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    “West Virginia may end up being part of a pattern of cases where this conservative Supreme Court generally cuts back on federal regulatory power to attack new problems,” said William Buzbee, faculty director of Georgetown University Law Center’s environmental law and policy program.

    “Of course, states can go above and beyond what federal laws require,” he added. “Many states do. But a lot of states don’t.”

    In its fall term beginning in October, the Supreme Court will take up a challenge to the Clean Water Act that could narrow the law’s reach in ways long sought by businesses and developers. In lower courts, meanwhile, Republican attorneys general are fighting to prevent the Biden administration from factoring climate change into major decisions and cutting climate pollutants from vehicles’ tailpipes.

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    In the majority opinion in , Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote that the EPA can only make sweeping changes to the nation’s power sector with explicit approval from Congress. But lawmakers have not granted that to the agency, given partisan divisions over environmental issues in the past few decades.

    The EPA “must point to ‘clear congressional authorization’ for the power it claims,” Roberts wrote in the majority opinion, which was joined by Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Amy Coney Barrett, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas.

    Katie Tubb, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, said the court was right to restrict the EPA’s powers.

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    “Many on the left want the EPA to regulate emissions to achieve a radical climate agenda,” Tubb said. “But it matters in this country who makes those decisions. From my perspective, it is important that American representatives are the ones … rather than unelected bureaucrats in the EPA.”

    Jody Freeman, a Harvard Law School professor, said the court could have gone further in limiting the EPA’s authority. The majority allowed the agency to continue regulating carbon emissions from power plants — it just cannot do so by forcing utility companies to shift from coal to renewable energy.

    There is “something of a silver lining here,” Freeman said. “It leaves a pathway for EPA to still set meaningful standards.”

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    However, theruling may not bode well for the Biden administration in the challenge to the Clean Water Act scheduled for this fall, legal scholars say. In that case, , the conservative justices could also find that the EPA overstepped its authority when regulating the nation’s wetlands and waterways, despite a lack of clear guidance from Congress.

    “The court had a strong message for EPA not to read its authority overly broadly,” said Dan Farber, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley. “And that will certainly be very unhelpful in terms of

    The Clean Water Act case is a long-running dispute involving an Idaho couple, Chantell and Mike Sackett, who tried to build a home on their land near Priest Lake. The couple has said their plans were prevented by an EPA order, which determined that the property contained a wetland and they needed a federal permit.

    Supreme Court takes EPA case that could narrow Clean Water Act

    The case raises the question of what constitutes “waters of the United States,” which the Clean Water Act was passed to protect in 1972. The Sacketts favor a narrower definition proposed by the late Justice Antonin Scalia and championed by business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. If they prevail, by some estimates, 90 percent of federally regulated waterways in America would lose protections.

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    “Over the last 30 to 40 years, the Clean Water Act has developed into something much more than a basic water quality program,” said Damien Schiff, a senior attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation, which is representing the Sacketts. “In practice, it has become something like a mini federal zoning code.”

    Source : www.washingtonpost.com

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