Institute for Policy Integrity

Twitter @policyintegrity

What We Do

Project Updates

Supreme Court Brief for Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Case

March 4, 2015

The Supreme Court will soon hear a challenge to the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (commonly known as the MATS rule). Policy Integrity has submitted an amicus brief in support of the EPA for this case.

The case focuses on whether the EPA unreasonably refused to consider costs in determining whether to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities. As our brief argues, the MATS rule reflects the EPA’s rational consideration of costs and benefits during the appropriate phase of the rulemaking process, consistent with statutory design, federal executive orders, case law, longstanding regulatory precedents, and analytical best practices.

The MATS rule is massively cost-benefit justified, delivering tens of billions of dollars in net benefits each year, including thousands of lives saved annually plus other significant health and environmental improvements. When all direct and indirect effects are quantified, this rule’s monetized benefits (independent of any existing air quality standards) range from $37–$90 billion per year, substantially outweighing the $9.7 billion in costs. The EPA followed standard best practices in its economic analysis, as was confirmed by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. For these and other reasons, our brief argues that Court should affirm the judgment of the court of appeals and uphold the MATS rule.

The Court will hear oral argument for this case on March 25th.

Filed under Environmental Health, Court Filings