Energy & Environment

Nearly 200 Democrats back EPA in Supreme Court emissions case

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Nearly 200 Democrats are backing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “broad authority” to regulate planet-warming emissions in a Supreme Court case looking at what tools the Environmental Protection Agency can use in this endeavor. 

A total of 192 Democratic lawmakers, including 29 senators and 163 House members, signed onto an amicus briefing supporting the agency. 

They argue that a particular section of the Clean Air Act (CAA) was “intended to confer broad authority on the EPA to regulate and respond to both new and existing air pollutants, as needed to carry out the stated purpose of the CAA,” their filing said. 

On the other side of the case, Republican-led states guided by West Virginia have argued that the provision “does not clearly give EPA authority to upend the power industry.” 

The Democrats’ effort was spearheaded by Sen. Tom Carper (Del.) who chairs the chamber’s Environment and Public Works Committee, as well as Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. (N.J.) and Kathy Castor (Fla.), who chair the House’s Energy and Commerce and Select Climate Crisis committees, respectively. 

In October, the Supreme Court agreed to take up a case looking at whether the agency can decide matters of “vast economic and political significance,” like whether and how to restructure the country’s energy system.

As the agency is expected to implement new regulations for power plants, a ruling against it from the Supreme Court may limit which tools it has at its disposal. 

Tags Kathy Castor Tom Carper

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