The Supreme Court has given the Environmental Protection Agency an important victory in its effort to reduce power plant pollution that contributes to unhealthy air in neighboring states. But the court issued its ruling in a way that is likely to exclude Texas from the effects of the law.
The Court’s 6-2 decision means that a rule adopted by the EPA in 2011 to limit emissions from plants in more than two dozen Southern and Midwestern states can take effect. But the High Court also ruled EPA overstepped its authority in setting emission levels for particular states. The rule was meant to apply when a state contributed a minimum one percent increase in pollutants in neighboring states.
Jeff Holmstead is a partner in the law firm of Bracewell and Giuliani.
“Just based on EPA’s own rulemaking record, what they did in Texas went well beyond what was necessary to meet this 1% threshold, so you would certainly think that it would be invalidated as it applies to Texas.”
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the Court’s majority opinion. Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.