- Adam White, The Hoover Institution
In August 2015 the President announced the Clean Power Plan, characterized by the Environmental Protection Agency’s website as “a historic and important step in reducing carbon pollution from power plants that takes real action on climate change.” Some six months later, on February 9, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed implementation of the Plan, pending further judicial review. Later this month, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear en banc argument in that case, West Virginia et al. v. EPA. The suing states and power companies assert that the EPA has overstepped its authority in the Clean Air Act, and have acted beyond the bounds of the U.S. Constitution. Our experts will debate the arguments made in the various briefs and expected at oral argument.
National Press Club
On September 27, 2016, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral argument in West Virginia, et al. v. EPA, a case testing the constitutionality of the Clean Power Plan. Among two procedural peculiarities (the U.S. Supreme Court has granted a stay in the implementation of the Plan, and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has, sua sponte, decided to hear the case en banc without a prior three-judge panel), the case includes myriad federalism and separation of powers issues. Our experts will discuss the primary issues in the case – the balance of power between the federal and state governments, and the separation of powers within the federal government.
On Tuesday, September 27, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, the case that will determine the fate of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. If enacted, the Clean Power Plan would set a national limit for carbon emissions, and require each state to reduce its own output and meet state-specific standards. In February, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to stay the Clean Power regulations while the case was pending in the D.C. Court. Twenty-four states, and various energy producers, have joined the suit against the federal government. Does the EPA have the authority to regulate a state’s carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act? Elbert Lin, the Solicitor General of West Virginia, joined us to discuss the arguments as briefed in this highly important case.
The use of eminent domain to condemn property for pipelines has become an increasingly controversial practice. Critics claim that it undermines private property rights and causes environmental damage. Defenders argue it is essential to enable effective exploitation of the nation's energy resources. In recent months, Georgia and South Carolina have passed new legislation limiting pipeline condemnations, an effort backed by a coalition of conservative property rights advocates and left of center environmentalists. Similar reforms have been proposed in many other states. This forum examined the growing controversy over pipeline takings.