Environmental -- 2016

National Association of Manufacturers v. EPA   (EPA)

Petition for stay of EPA's Clean Power Plan Rule

On Oct. 2, 2015, the NAM and 14 other associations petitioned the EPA to issue an administrative stay of its newly signed regulation of the U.S. energy sector until the courts can sort out the rule's legality. The rule, nominally issued as a regulation of greenhouse gases from electric utility generating units, goes much farther than regulation of electric power plants. The massive scope of the rule has already prompted lawsuits seeking extraordinary relief (here), and more are expected after the rule in formally published in the Federal Register shortly.

The NAM's administrative petition argued that the rule is already causing irreparable harm by forcing the closure of vast numbers of existing coal-fired generating units, constituting the backbone of the American electric grid. Manufacturers will see their costs increase, and some trade-exposed industries may be forced to relocate production overseas.

The petition also argued that legal challenges to the rule are likely to prevail in court, since the Clean Air Act expressly forbids EPA from regulating existing fossil fuel-fired generating units under Sec. 111(d). We also argued that the rule imposes standards of performance for the entire energy sector, rather than only for the individual sources of greenhouse gases from the power plants themselves.

EPA denied our petition, but the Supreme Court issued a nationwide stay of the rule on Feb. 9, 2016, until all of the litigation over the rule is completed.

Further developments in this case can be found here.

Related Documents:
NAM Petition for Administrative Stay  (October 2, 2015)


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