Bachmann, conservative groups ask Supreme Court to stop EPA climate rules

Conservative groups and a dozen House Republicans are petitioning the Supreme Court to review an appellate decision that upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

They’re taking aim at a June 2012 federal court ruling that protected several EPA decisions, including the “endangerment finding” that greenhouse gases threaten humans, that underpin the agency's existing and planned carbon regulations.

“Although seemingly disjointed in their promulgation, taken together these rules create a comprehensive, integrated program that gives EPA regulatory jurisdiction over a breadth of human activity unparalleled in the history of American governance,” states the petition Friday from the conservative Southeastern Legal Foundation.

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Twelve GOP lawmakers, including Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), who is a Tea Party favorite, and Reps. Joe Barton (Texas), Tom Price (Ga.) and Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) joined the petition.

Other backers of the petition include FreedomWorks, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Georgia Motor Trucking Association.

The EPA has issued or is planning rules that cover emissions from tailpipes, power plants and other big industrial sources.

The agency claims that it’s pursuing a “commonsense” program to address the largest emissions sources, and indeed one of the contested regulations is the "tailoring rule" that shields smaller sources from regulation.

But conservative critics argue that the EPA could eventually seek to impose a far broader regulatory program and must be stripped of the power to regulate emissions.

“Even under the ‘tailored’ version of the [Clean Air] Act fabricated by EPA, these rules and those to follow will impose costs on the U.S. economy that are staggering, including billions of dollars in compliance and delay costs. The extension of these rules will cost tens, perhaps hundreds, of billions of dollars,” the petition states.

The new filing joins several other industry Supreme Court petitions urging review of the June decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

E2-Wire wrote about one of them in Thursday evening’s Overnight Energy.