Project Update

Policy Integrity Files Supreme Court Amicus Brief on EPA’s CSAPR

Wednesday September 11th, 2013

Today, Policy Integrity filed an amicus brief with the Supreme court which argues that in place of an established, relatively unchallenged understanding of EPA authority, a lower court substituted its preferred policy for that of the agency. In doing so, it acted inconsistently with core principles of American administrative law.

This case, which challenges EPA’s cross-state air pollution rule, reaches the nation’s highest court after a lower court set aside three decades-worth of consistent agency interpretation of the Clean Air Act by six administrations of both political parties, to disallow EPA from using market mechanisms to reduce the amount of dirty air flowing across state borders.

Most economists agree that market mechanisms are the best way to cut pollution. They do so cheaply and effectively. The D.C. Circuit’s decision makes using them in the case of interstate air pollution difficult if not impossible. The consequences of the Supreme Court allowing the decision to stand would be either the more expensive, more cumbersome command-and-control regulatory action the D.C. Circuit prescribed, or a stalling out of the rule altogether. Both scenarios will result in dirtier air and leave 34,000 lives at risk each year.

For more background on CSAPR, click here.

Issue(s): Energy and Environment