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Environmental Law

Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 7-1-15 featuring Andrew Grossman
Andrew Grossman July 01, 2015

On June 29, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency. The question in this case is whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acted unreasonably when it did not consider the costs of compliance in determining whether it was appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.

In an opinion delivered by Justice Scalia, the Court held by a vote of 5-4 that the EPA acted unreasonably when it treated the costs of compliance as irrelevant.  The judgment of the D.C. Circuit was reversed and the case remanded.

Chief Justice Roberts, as well as Justices Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito joined the opinion of the Court. Justice Thomas filed a concurring opinion. Justice Kagan filed a dissenting opinion, which justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor joined. 

To discuss the case, we have Andrew Grossman, who is an associate at the law firm BakerHostetler.

EPA Power and Power Plants: Michigan v. EPA - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
Andrew Grossman June 30, 2015

On June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court limited the power of the EPA. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA can regulate, as a stationary source of emissions, power plants only if EPA concludes that "regulation is appropriate and necessary." The Court, in a split decision, held that the EPA acted unreasonably when it deemed cost of the regulations irrelevant when it decided to regulate power plants. But what does that mean for the EPA? Will the decision have an impact for other regulatory agencies?

  • Andrew Grossman, Associate, Baker & Hostetler, and Adjunct Scholar, The Cato Institute

The Clean Power Plan: A Bridge too Far? - Audio/Video

Third Annual Executive Branch Review Conference
David D. Doniger, Mark DeLaquil, Robert Sussman, Misha Tseytlin, Elana Schor June 23, 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new regulations for CO2 emission reductions from existing power plants. The proposal requires states to implement the Agency’s Clean Power Plan. Proponents argue that it is an essential measure to protect vital natural resources; opponents argue that it will be massively costly and logistically difficult to implement (particularly given the timeframes required in the proposed regulations), and that it robs the states of their sovereign power. Our panel of experts will discuss the underlying legal authority for EPA’s proposal, the appropriate federalism model for regulation of CO2 emissions under the Clean Air Act, and the policy implications.

This panel was presented on June 18, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC during the Third Annual Executive Branch Review Conference.

The Clean Power Plan: A Bridge too Far?
9:40 – 11:10 a.m.
Promenade Room

  • Mr. David Doniger, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Mr. Mark W. DeLaquil, Baker & Hostetler LLP 
  • Mr. Robert M. Sussman, Sussman & Associates 
  • Mr. Misha Tseytlin, West Virginia Attorney General's Office
  • Moderator: Ms. Elana Schor, Politico

June 18, 2015
Washington, DC

Murray Energy: The Limits of EPA Authority - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
Robert R. Gasaway April 24, 2015

In what has become a highly visible challenge to the EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act, the D.C. Court of Appeals heard oral argument on April 16, 2015. The case is being viewed by some as a fundamental test of executive authority and the judiciary’s willingness to evaluate and rein in possible overreach. Is the rule, now in proposed form, ripe for challenge, at least in part because compliance with the rule requires a great deal of planning and expense even before its adoption? Has the EPA overreached and, if so, will the court intervene? Or has the EPA properly utilized its statutory rulemaking authority for what all parties indicate will be an important change in the way coal-fired power plants are able to operate?

  • Robert R. Gasaway, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States Rule - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
Brent A. Fewell, Patrick A. Parenteau April 22, 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers are currently engaged in a controversial rulemaking to redefine its jurisdiction over bodies of water through a new definition of the “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. Some have criticized the proposed rule, claiming that it is an overreach that would give the federal government authority over huge areas of private and state land that are rarely even wet, while others have dismissed these concerns as overblown and have pointed out the benefits of clarifying what is currently a murky area of law. Our experts discussed the rulemaking and presented both sides of the argument.

  • Brent A. Fewell, Partner, Troutman Sanders LLP
  • Prof. Patrick A. Parenteau, Senior Counsel, Professor of Law, Vermont Law School