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Debrief of the Supreme Court's Oral Argument on EPA's GHG Rulemakings


February 25, 2014


Washington, DC (and via teleconference)

After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas rulemakings (Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA, 684 F.3d 102 (D.C. Cir. 2012)), several states and industry groups appealed to the Supreme Court. Although the petitioners raised several arguments, the Supreme Court granted certiorari solely on a question it formulated: “[w]hether 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” (Utility Air Regulatory Grp. v. EPA, U.S., No. 12-1146). Depending on how the Court treats the breadth of this question, the Court’s decision could have little or significant effects on EPA’s requirement that certain stationary industrial sources obtain prevention of significant deterioration or Title V operating permits for greenhouse gas emissions.

Distinguished panelists, many of whom participated in the case, discussed and dissected the previous day’s oral argument and the implications of the potential outcomes for clients and policy moving forward.

Thomas A. Lorenzen, Partner, Dorsey & Whitney, LLP (moderator)
Steven G. Bradbury, Partner, Dechert LLP
William M. Jay, Partner, Goodwin Procter
Vickie Patton, General Counsel, Environmental Defense Fund