Paul Gutermann Quoted by Morning Consult on EPA’s Clean Power Plan

For its article “Hedging Its Bets, EPA Whips Up New Legal Authority For Power Plant Rule,” Morning Consult quoted Akin Gump environment and natural resources partner Paul Gutermann on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP) to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

The article discusses possible legal challenges to the agency’s proposed regulation of CO2 emissions, including the possible conflict regarding the Clean Air Act, whose section 111 gives the EPA authority to regulate any air pollutant that isn’t regulated under section 112, which covers hazardous air pollutants. The article notes that CPP opponents claim that, because power plants fall under section 112 of the Clean Air Act, the CPP cannot regulate emissions through section 111, and also points out that opponents are calling the EPA’s shift on its ability to regulate CO2 emissions a flip-flop from its earlier position.

Gutermann said, “111 vs. 112 is a tough issue for them,” adding that, while the EPA move was surprising,” it might not be “particularly significant,” as the agency has, in the past, changed its position on legal issues.

He underlined that the CPP is “priority number one. They’re going to do anything they can do to save this rule.”