Filed under: Climate Change | Tags: Clean Air Act, EPA, Greenhouse Gas Emissions
On June 26, 2012, in Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“DC Circuit”) dismissed various challenges to U.S. EPA’s program for regulating greenhouse gases (“GHGs”) pursuant to the Clean Air Act. The lawsuit involved a suite of related EPA GHG rules. While the DC Circuit was expected to uphold the “Endangerment Finding” and the GHG emission standards specifically applicable to cars and light-duty trucks, many observers questioned whether the controversial “Tailoring Rule” would survive. In that rule, EPA interpreted its authority as allowing it to “tailor” the applicability of compliance requirements to exempt smaller sources. Although the Tailoring Rule’s regulatory GHG-specific emissions thresholds for triggering New Source Review deviate from the statutory emission thresholds in the Clean Air Act, the DC Circuit dismissed the Tailoring Rule challenges because the petitioners failed to demonstrate that they were harmed by the rule and, as a result, they lacked standing to pursue these claims. As a result, EPA’s GHG programs will continue to apply … at least until the Supreme Court of the United States rules otherwise.
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