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D.C. Circuit Upholds Quartet Of EPA Greenhouse Gas Regulations

June 26, 2012

By KEVIN POLONCARZ AND MICHAEL BALSTER

Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit or Court) in Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. Environmental Protection Agency upheld a suite of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations in a sharp rebuke to industry and state petitioners attempting to overturn these rules. The Courts unsigned per curium opinion primarily addressed four controversial EPA rules promulgated pursuant to the federal Clean Air Act (CAA): (1) the Endangerment Finding, (2) the Tailpipe Rule, (3) The Timing Rule, and (4) the Tailoring Rule. The Court denied the petitions relating to the Endangerment Finding and the Tailpipe Rule on the merits, while dismissing the petitions for review of the Timing Rule and the Tailoring Rule on constitutional standing grounds. The Court's unanimous decision strongly affirms EPA's approach to regulation of GHGs under the CAA, at a time when EPA's regulatory efforts and, in particular, those affecting the power sector are subject to broad attack.