July 13, 2022

US Supreme Court’s Clean Power Plan Ruling and Its Implications for Regulators

On the final day of its Term, the U.S. Supreme Court held, 6-3, that EPA lacked authority under Clean Air Act Section 111(d) to promulgate the “Clean Power Plan,” which had sought to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by shifting energy from existing coal-fired power plants to wind and solar plants—and the Court did so without citing the Chevron deference doctrine.  The decision in West Virginia v. EPA solidifies and explains the “major questions” principle—which holds that a federal agency may not decide issues of great economic or social significance unless there is clear congressional authority for it to do so. The Court applied that principle and concluded that the Clean Air Act’s reference to “the best system of emission reduction” did not supply authority for EPA’s plan to shift power generation, in light of the history and the breadth of the authority that EPA asserted, and the economic and political significance of that assertion.

This webinar will describe the Court’s ruling and discuss the implications of the major questions doctrine for other regulatory programs, such as the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act and the SEC’s proposed ESG disclosures.

CLE is not available when viewing a recording of this program. In order to receive credit you must have attended the live webinar program.

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