The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

More Court Challenges for EPA's GHG Regulations

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted October 11, 2010

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) plan to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is being challenged in court--again. The most recent suit was filed Thursday by more than 90 companies and trade associations which are questioning the EPA's finding that GHGs endanger public health.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the suit alleges that "EPA violated its statutory duty" and made a "sweeping judgment" about carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions without independent scientific review. Additionally:

  • Politico reports that the White House is stalling the release of EPA's guidance on how large companies including refiners and power plants are supposed to reduce GHG emissions. According to the report, some officials want to cap the costs on pollution controls against EPA's will.
  • A report in The Wall Street Journal today says EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is "threatening to punish Texas and other green dissenters with a de facto moratorium on any major energy or construction projects." Under the proposed GHG regulations, companies must receive permits granted by their state for construction and expansion projects. In Texas, however, Jackson is preparing to override the state's authority. Texas filed suit against EPA last week seeking expedited review of an emergency stay of the regulations. The Journal asserts that EPA's "coercion is illegal."
  • Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) says Congress must consider his bill to delay the GHG regulations for two years. "We must send a clear message that Congress--not an unelected regulatory agency--must set our national energy policy," he said in a recent statement.

API has challenged in court EPA's regulation under the Clean Air Act of GHG emissions from stationary sources. EPA's so-called tailoring rule, which proposes to allow the agency to delay enforcement for smaller businesses, attempts to alter the Clean Air Act. Only Congress can change laws--not a federal agency.

Also, more than 6 million businesses ranging from big box stores to farms would have to get permits to expand or merely to continue operating if EPA's tailoring rule does not withstand judicial scrutiny. States agencies charged with issuing permits would be swamped, leading to long delays in business growth and job creation.

The EPA GHG emissions regulations of stationary sources must be stopped.