D.C. Circuit Upholds EPA Greenhouse Gas Rules
Yesterday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA, upholding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s approach to the regulation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions against claims from a variety of interests. The opinion addressed challenges to three EPA rulemakings: (1) the agency’s “Endangerment Finding,” where it determined that GHGs may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare, (2) the “Tailpipe Rule” which set emissions standards for cars and light trucks following the Endangerment Finding, and (3) the “Timing and Tailoring Rules,” setting standards for the phase-in of the regulation of GHGs from stationary sources under Clean Air Act New Source Review and Title V.
The D.C. Circuit rejected claims that EPA’s Endangerment Finding was arbitrary and capricious, holding that EPA properly did not take policy concerns into account in making the Endangerment Finding and that EPA had adequate evidence on which to base its decision, notwithstanding uncertainty about the underlying science.
The Court also upheld the Tailpipe Rule, finding that EPA had met its burden in justifying the Rule with the agency’s finding that automobiles contributed to the danger posed by GHGs and that contribution would be reduced as a result of the Rule.
The Court did not reach the merits of the challenges to the Timing and Tailoring Rules, dismissing the claims against these Rules for lack of jurisdiction based on the failure of a party to the case to demonstrate any concrete harm resulting from the Rules.