Supreme Court Finds EPA Regulation Unreasonable


The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) today responded to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Michigan v. EPA. The Court remanded a lawsuit against the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards back to the D.C. Circuit, dealing a blow to the agency’s attempts to regulate emissions of hazardous air pollutants from certain stationary sources such as refineries and factories. CEI Fellow William Yeatman called the ruling against the EPA a win for common sense:

“The Supreme Court’s decision today is a win for common sense. The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards was one of the most expensive rules ever promulgated, yet its benefits were illusory. In fact, the rule’s justification was to spend $10 billion annually in order to protect a putative population of pregnant subsistence  fisherwomen, not one of whom EPA actually identified in the course of rendering the rule. The court rightly found that the agency’s failure to weigh the rule’s costs against its benefits was unreasonable.

Despite the positive outcome, the ruling couldn’t mitigate all of the injustice wrought by the regulation. Utilities have to plan years in advance, and judicial review of rule took more than 3 years. The unfortunate result is that the preponderance of regulated entities already complied with the rule. That an illegal rule was allowed to have such a consequence is an injustice.

Now the rule returns to the D.C. Circuit, which will determine whether the rule is remanded to EPA with or without vacatur.”

For more information and analysis from CEI on the lawsuit and the rule, see here:

Judge Kavanaugh’s Dissent in the EPA Mercury Rule Case: Will the Supreme Court Review EPA’s $9.6 Billion Reg?

Does Political Underhandedness of EPA’s “Appropriate” Determination for Utility MACT Undercut Agency’s Chevron Defense?