Industry seeks Supreme Court review of landmark GHG ruling

Posted: Apr 22, 2013

Written by

Jeremy P. Jacobs, Greenwire

An industry coalition asked the Supreme Court yesterday to review a lower court ruling upholding U.S. EPA's regulations to address climate change.

Led by the American Chemistry Council, the trade associations petitioned the high court to reconsider the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit's June 2012 decision on EPA's greenhouse gas rules (Greenwire, June 26, 2012).

Specifically, the groups are challenging EPA's decision to regulate greenhouse gases from stationary sources using the Clean Air Act's Prevention of Significant Deterioration, or PSD, program. PSD imposes emissions requirements on new or modified sources, including the installation of control technologies.

But ACC and other groups say it shouldn't be applied to greenhouse gases because those emissions are not a criteria pollutant subject to National Ambient Air Quality Standards enumerated in the Clean Air Act.

In a statement, ACC called the rules "fundamentally flawed."

"EPA's ill-founded regulations represent a sweeping expansion of its regulatory power under the Clean Air Act and would impose new requirements on potentially millions of stationary sources across the country," ACC said in a statement. "ACC continues to believe the PSD permitting program is not the appropriate way to address GHG emissions from industrial facilities."

Several trade groups joined ACC on the petition, including the American Petroleum Institute, National Oilseed Processors Association, National Association of Home Builders and National Association of Manufacturers.

Today is the deadline for groups to challenge the D.C. Circuit's unanimous ruling, which was applauded by environmentalists. Industry was widely expected to seek Supreme Court review. Several other petitions have also been filed from various parties, including Virginia and other trade groups. The petitions challenge various aspects of the ruling.

It takes four votes from Supreme Court justices for a case to be granted, and environmentalists have expressed some confidence that the court will pass on these petitions. The justices will likely decide next fall whether to hear arguments on any of the greenhouse gas petitions.

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