Supreme Court Strikes Down EPA “Tailoring Rule”

WASHINGTON, June 23 – Today, the Supreme Court ruled in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency (UARG v. EPA). The court struck down the EPA’s “tailoring rule,” but reaffirmed the agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) under the Clean Air Act. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) was a co-petitioner in the case with Southeastern Legal Foundation. CEI energy expert and senior fellow William Yeatman said the following about the ruling:

“Only two Supreme Court justices, Justice Alito and Justice Thomas, rendered a correct decision finding that greenhouse gases are ‘fundamentally incompatible’ with any provision of the Clean Air Act Prevention of Significant Deterioration program, including the requirement for Best Available Control Technology, and also the Title V permitting program. As a result of this unfortunate ruling, the EPA will continue to try to hammer a square peg (regulating GHGs) into a round hole (the PSD/Title V programs). It should be noted that there are no actual environmental improvements attendant to EPA’s climate rules, because they won’t in any way impact climate change.

“There is a possible silver lining. In the course of permitting EPA regulatory regimes for visibility improvement and interstate pollution, either by ruling or refusal of cert, the Supreme Court had previously facilitated an expansion of EPA discretion to interpret the Clean Air Act however the agency saw fit. With today's ruling, we at least have established a line in the sand regarding deference to agency decision making: The agency will not be permitted to blatantly re-write laws, but this is a pretty low bar.”

Read more by CEI senior fellow William Yeatman on the court’s decision at

Additional analysis on this case by CEI energy expert Marlo Lewis can be found at: Supreme Court Global Warming Case: Does EPA Permitting of Greenhouse Gases ‘Deform’ the Statute?