EPA to defend its greenhouse gas emission rules tomorrow
Jeremy P. Jacobs and Jean Chemnick, E&E reporters
Greenwire: Monday, May 6, 2013
U.S. EPA will return to court tomorrow to defend its regulations for fighting climate change from multiple challenges by Texas and industry groups.
At issue before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit are two cases that center on EPA's implementation of greenhouse gas air emissions standards under the Clean Air Act after the agency determined the emissions endangered public health.
Both center on EPA's efforts to review state permitting programs for planned major facilities to ensure that greenhouse gas emissions were considered along with other pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act.
In one case, Texas, Wyoming and several major industry groups argue that EPA rushed its review of the so-called state implementation plans, or SIPs, and "coerced" states into complying by threatening a ban on construction of new facilities.
In the second, Texas is challenging EPA's decision to retroactively revoke its SIP because the Lone Star State refused to add greenhouse gases to its permitting program.
The petitions are part of a concerted effort by opponents of EPA greenhouse gas regulations to win back some of the territory they have lost since 2007, when the Supreme Court ruled in Massachusetts v. EPA that EPA must consider regulating heat-trapping emissions under the Clean Air Act, as well as subsequent similar rulings.
The first case comes from a broad industry coalition, including the Utility Air Regulatory Group and National Mining Association. When EPA began regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act in 2010, the agency issued its "tailoring rule" -- providing a way for large stationary emitters to be phased into coverage. A key component of