Opening Briefs Filed in Case Challenging EPA Greenhouse Gas Rules for Existing Power Plants

The opening briefs (here and here)  for the petitioners in West Virginia et al v. EPA—the lawsuit challenging the EPA’s greenhouse gas rule for existing power plants—were submitted to the U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on 19th February.  The list of petitioners and their lawyers is pretty impressive.  The two briefs requested by the court each total no more than 42,000 words.

A number of amicus curiae briefs have been filed plus one intervenor brief.  I haven’t read them all, but one that I have that is definitely worth looking at is the amicus brief signed by 34 Senators and 171 Representatives.  Senator James M. Inhofe’s (R-Okla.) Environment and Public Works Committee staff took the lead on putting this together. 

The entire docket for the case, including links to all the briefs, is available on the web site of the West Virginia Attorney General’s office. The response brief is due 28th March.

The Energy and Environment Legal Institute has asked the court to accept a supplemental brief on some very interesting procedural issues. The brief is based on a report prepared by my CEI colleague Chris Horner, which shows how the EPA worked in secret with operatives from environmental pressure groups to write the rule. None of the communications between EPA and these operatives was placed on the public docket.  Their existence was revealed through Freedom of Information Act requests.