MENU

LAWYERS DIVISION

ABOUT THE LAWYERS DIVISION
The Federalist Society's Lawyers Division was founded in 1986 to bring together attorneys, business and policy leaders, judges and others interested in examining and improving the state of the law. The Lawyers Division reaches the legal community thr READ MORE
SCOTUScast 8-22-14 featuring Robert Gasaway

On June 23, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency. The question in this case was whether the EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases (“GHGs”).

Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to parts I and II, which held that the EPA could not require a source to obtain a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) or Title V permit solely on the basis that the source emits GHGs.  The Court also concluded, however, that the EPA could reasonably interpret the Clean Air Act to allow for the regulation of GHG emissions from sources already subject to regulation under the PSD and Title V program.

Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy joined the opinion of the Court in full. Justices Thomas and Alito joined the opinion as to parts I, II-A, and II-B-1. Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined as to Part II-B-2. Justice Breyer filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined. Justice Alito filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, which Justice Thomas joined. The judgement of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit was affirmed in part and reversed in part.

To discuss these cases, we have Robert R. Gasaway, who is a partner at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP.