WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) joined U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (Okla.), senior member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and Senators Deb Fischer (Neb.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), and Pat Roberts (Kan.) this week in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court regarding Utility Air Regulatory Group v. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) In the amicus brief, the Senators ask that the Supreme Court remand the D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeals decision that upheld the EPA's authority to require permits for greenhouse gases (GHG) under the Clean Air Act. 

“The EPA has time and time again stretched the Clean Air Act to continue their war on affordable energy for families and job creators in states like Missouri," said Blunt. “The Obama Administration continues to sidestep Congress by forcing the regulation of greenhouse gases through the Clean Air Act – even though the Act’s authors have said it was never meant to be used for that purpose. These regulations punish our nation’s most vulnerable families who are hurt the most by high energy bills. I will continue to fight against the Obama Administration’s burdensome regulations and promote smart policies that encourage more American energy and more American jobs.”

“The EPA's expansive power under the Obama Administration has resulted in overregulation that is stalling economic growth and opportunity in the United States,” said Inhofe. “The Clean Air Act (CAA) was never designed to regulate greenhouse gases, and former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson even admitted in 2009 that these costly regulations alone will not move the needle on climate change. The EPA has had flagrant disregard for the facts and have implemented rules that are stifling job creation and innovation. I urge the Supreme Court to give our brief the utmost attention and to return a decision that reigns in big government and benefits the American people.”

“This Administration has abused its authority under the Clean Air Act to expand rules controlling greenhouse gas emissions," said Fischer. “I hope the Supreme Court will recognize the limits of the law and rein in EPA before its regulatory overreach causes even more damage to our economy.”

“Throughout this administration, a pattern of overreach by federal agencies has resulted in the implementation of laws and regulations never contemplated by those in Congress,” said Roberts. “This is why I proudly joined my colleagues yesterday in filing an amicus brief which correctly argues that use of Prevention of Significant Deterioration permits to regulate GHG’s from stationary sources of emissions runs counter to clear congressional intent. It is critically important that the Supreme Court understand this and remand the lower court’s previous decision.”

The amicus brief is available by clicking here and lays out two arguments:  

1. Tailpipe rules do not trigger Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits because PSD permits are limited in their scope to National Air Ambient Quality Standard (NAAQS) regulations. Greenhouse Gases (GHG) have not been designated as a NAAQS pollutant; therefore, requiring these permits is not permissible.

2. Congress has, on numerous occasions, introduced and considered a large number of bills proposing to regulate GHG emissions from stationary sources in a wide variety of ways, yet none of the bills contemplated regulation of stationary sources through traditional PSD permits. This absence of legislative proposals to use PSD as a mechanism to regulate GHG supports the conclusion that requirements for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases to obtain CAA permits are not triggered based on EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles. It also supports the conclusion that EPA’s interpretation of the Act is contrary to Congressional intent.

The Supreme Court hearing is scheduled for February 24, 2014.

# # #