Busy Times in Climate Change Regulation

In This Alert:

In the Courts: Supreme Court Weighs In Again on Greenhouse Gas Regulation; In Congress: Efforts Stall to Rein In EPA Authority to Regulate Greenhouse Gases; At EPA: The Rulemaking Process Lumbers On; and In California: Cap and Trade in the Courts and at the Air Resources Board.

In the Courts: Supreme Court Weighs In Again on Greenhouse Gas Regulation

On June 20, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important ruling on climate change regulation. In American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut (No. 10- 174), the Court dismissed a lawsuit against major greenhouse gas emitters under the federal common law of nuisance, holding that federal common law has been displaced by the Clean Air Act in the field of greenhouse gas regulation. This case follows the Court's 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA (No. 05-1120), which required the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") to make a finding on whether greenhouse gases endanger the public health and welfare, and if they do, to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. In December 2009, the EPA issued a finding that greenhouse gases do indeed endanger the public health and welfare, and announced its intention to begin regulating greenhouse gases pursuant to its authority under the Clean Air Act.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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