CPR Archive for Kirsten Engel

The Merits of the Clean Power Plan Challenge: It all depends on Chevron

by Kirsten Engel | April 27, 2015

Further reflections on the April 16th Oral Argument in Murray v. EPA and West Virginia v. EPA

In an earlier blog entry, I predicted that the D.C. Circuit will refuse, on standard administrative law grounds, to consider the arguments of the petitioning states and coal and utility companies for overturning EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plant rule.  In short, a challenge to an on-going rulemaking is not ripe for judicial review until the agency issues its final rule.

But whether I am wrong or not, the court will surely reach the merits sooner or later, either now, or after the inevitable new lawsuit is filed when the rule is finalized.  What is clear, however, is that there is just no way of escaping administrative law in this case.  Like the jurisdictional issue, the merits would also seem to turn on a question of administrative law, that of the permissible scope of the familiar Chevron doctrine that directs a court to defer to an agency’s reasonable construction of an ambiguous statutory provision.

The battle is over whether Congress gave EPA the power to regulate, under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. The petitioners argue EPA lacks the authority because EPA already regulates power plants for mercury emissions under the air toxics section of the law, Section 112, and this kind of “double-regulation” is prohibited by a House amendment to the 1990 Clean Air Act. ...

The Stuff of an 'Extraordinary Writ' or a Hum-drum Administrative Law Case?

by Kirsten Engel | April 20, 2015
Reflections on the April 16th Oral Argument in Murray v. EPA and West Virginia v. EPA In a rulemaking there is a provision for judicial review, right, it’s not going to be a question that’s avoided . . . when the rule comes out, it’s going to be challenged, we’re going to get to it.  Why in the world would we resort to an extraordinary writ, which we have never used before?  So it really is quite unusual. -  Judge Griffiths, remarking on ...

EPA's Standing Argument: A Sleeping Giant in the Tailoring Rule Litigation?

by Kirsten Engel | February 21, 2012
On Feb. 28 and 29, the D.C. Circuit is scheduled to hear arguments on a suite of industry-led challenges to EPA-issued greenhouse gas rules.  While attention has focused on industry’s challenge to EPA’s finding that greenhouse gases (GHGs) endanger the environment, industry’s challenge to the greenhouse gas permitting “tailoring” rule – a rule limiting the CAA’s application to only the largest GHG sources – is just as important, and just as interesting a battle.  At issue is constitutional law’s most ...

States' Proposal for Meeting Federal Climate Change Rules an Opportunity to Think Seriously about Regional RPS

by Kirsten Engel | May 05, 2011
States are seeking EPA approval to meet climate change-related standards through programs that the states themselves have pioneered. Greenwire reported last month that California, New York and Minnesota, as well as about a dozen power companies and advocacy groups, are urging U.S. EPA to let states meet the forthcoming New Source Performance Standards under the Clean Air Act through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, California’s forthcoming greenhouse gas cap and trade plan, as well as through clean or renewable portfolio ...

States Go to Bat for Improving Climate Change Legislation

by Kirsten Engel | September 11, 2009
Five State Attorneys General sent a letter to the Senate leadership on August 31st urging the Senate to enact strong climate legislation. The AGs letter is unusual in that states directly lobbying Congress on the details of federal legislation is a fairly infrequent phenomenon in and of itself. The AGs from California, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, and New Jersey are asking Congress to strengthen the House-passed American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), despite several important ways in which ACES would ...

Waxman-Markey: State and Regional Cap-and-Trade Regimes

by Kirsten Engel | April 02, 2009
On Tuesday, March 31, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) released a “discussion draft” of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 – a climate change bill that will serve as the starting point for long-delayed congressional action on the world’s most pressing environmental program.  CPRBlog asked several Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholars to examine different aspects of the 648-page Waxman-Markey bill.  This entry, by Kirsten Engel, looks at ...

Also from Kirsten Engel

Kirsten Engel is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Charles E. Ares Professor of Law at the James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona, in Tucson. 

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