Litigation: CEI outlines Trump options to defeat advocates’ GHG lawsuits
InsideEPA.com’s Daily Briefing speaks with William Yeatman on President-elect Donald Trump’s opportunitites to defeat environmental lawsuits.
President-elect Donald Trump has multiple options to defeat potential lawsuits in the coming months and years from environmentalists to preserve Obama-era greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations that the new administration is expected to target, according to an analysis by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a free-market think tank.
In a Jan. 9 blog post, CEI’s William Yeatman outlines several strategies for the Trump administration to counter environmentalists’ legal actions to preserve and enforce regulations such as GHG limits for new and existing power plants, as well as first-time standards for the potent GHG methane for the oil and gas industry.
Trump’s EPA — under the potential leadership of his pick for administrator, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt– has long been expected to seek to roll back or scrap several high-profile Obama climate rules, though advocates have pledged to fight those efforts in court.
For example, in response to lawsuits alleging that revisions or rescissions of such rules are an “unreasonable about-face” and that the rules are “indispensable to public health,” Yeatman says Trump can argue that subsequent administrations can “alter or undo” almost anything a previous administration has done unilaterally.
Courts have accepted that changes in presidential policy priorities and legal interpretations “are valid bases for such actions,” he says. “The upshot is that green groups will face an uphill battle in litigating these challenges to Trump-era rollbacks of Obama-era excesses. . . . As long as the agency jumps through all the right procedural hoops and explains itself reasonably, courts are likely to uphold its actions in the face of suits brought by environmental groups.”
Read the full article at InsideEPA.com’s Daily Briefing.