Rex Heinke Speaks with Law360 on SCOTUS Greenhouse Gas Case
Akin Gump appellate practice head Rex Heinke was quoted by Law360 for its article “High Court To Define EPA’s Regulatory Latitude In GHG Case,” on a case being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court that treats the question of the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas rules for vehicles and their applicability to stationary sources.
Heinke noted that Justice Kennedy would probably be the swing vote on the Court as the EPA’s ability to adjust the regulatory threshold is discussed. He added, “I assume the focus of the debate is going to be whether the EPA has this power. The justices who are pressing the hardest on that are probably going to be the ones who are going to be the least sympathetic to the EPA's position.”
The petitioners in this claim argue that the EPA’s adjustment of statutory GHG thresholds wouldn’t be necessary if the Clean Air Act were intended to include greenhouse gases, which the Court ruled that the agency has the authority to regulate. Heinke said, “[The EPA] raised the limit by a huge amount, and that is different than the language in the statute, so the petitioners are attacking this. They are saying that Congress resolved this, and because the interpretation creates an absurd result, air pollutant in this context can't mean greenhouse gas emissions.”
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