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Environmental Law & Property Rights

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

Hands Off My Raisins: Supreme Court Decides Horne v. Department of Agriculture - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
John Elwood June 25, 2015

Under what circumstances can the government take your property without giving you compensation? Does it matter whether it is real property or personal property? On June 22, with an interesting alignment of justices, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Horne v. Department of Agriculture, addressing these and other questions.

  • John Elwood, Partner, Vinson & Elkins LLP

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

The Grasping Hand: "Kelo v. City of New London" and the Limits of Eminent Domain - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
Richard A. Epstein, Ilya Somin June 05, 2015

On June 23, 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that the city of New London, Connecticut, could condemn fifteen residential properties in order to transfer them to a new private owner. Although the Fifth Amendment only permits the taking of private property for "public use," the Court ruled that the transfer of condemned land to private parties for "economic development" is permitted by the Constitution. In his new book, published by the University of Chicago Press, The Grasping Hand: "Kelo v. City of New London" and the Limits of Eminent Domain, Prof. Ilya Somin argues that the closely divided 5-4 ruling in Kelo was a grave error. Prof. Somin provides a detailed study of the case, as well as of the new laws intended to limit the use of eminent domain passed in forty-five states during the political backlash following the decision, alongside a broader history of the dispute over public use and eminent domain and an evaluation of options for reform.

With the 10th anniversary of the Kelo decision approaching, Prof. Somin joined a Teleforum program to discuss the book, with Prof. Richard Epstein joining to offer his comments.

  • Prof. Ilya Somin, Author, The Grasping Hand: "Kelo v. City of New London" and the Limits of Eminent Domain, and Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
  • Prof. Richard A. Epstein, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University School of Law