For Immediate Release - February 24, 2014

Statement of AG Coakley on Today’s Supreme Court Arguments About the Power of EPA to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

BOSTON – The United States Supreme Court today heard arguments in a case that will consider the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources, including power plants, refineries, and cement kilns, which emit large amounts of global warming pollution.

Last month, Attorney General Martha Coakley joined 14 other states and the City of New York on a Supreme Court brief in the case, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, supporting the ability of the EPA to regulate stationary source emissions.

AG Coakley offered the following statement today:

“Combatting climate change is one of the signature issues of our time, and we should be taking steps forward to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, not back. Massachusetts led the way in requiring the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will carefully consider our arguments to maintain the EPA’s ability to regulate harmful emissions and protect against climate change, and come down on the right side of history.”

BACKGROUND:

Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency pits various industry groups and Republican-led states against the EPA over the proposed regulations that would limit emissions from stationary sources.

After the landmark decision in the 2007 case Massachusetts v. EPA, the EPA instituted several regulatory actions including the “Tailpipe Rule” to reduce emissions from motor vehicles and the “Tailoring Rule” to limit emissions from stationary sources like power plants and refineries.

In June 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld EPA's authority to regulate climate change pollution, issuing a strong, unanimous opinion.

The Supreme Court granted review of a narrow question: whether the EPA’s regulation of vehicle tailpipe emissions triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources.

For years, the AG Coakley has been a leader in pursuing federal regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Carol Iancu and Melissa Hoffer, Chief of AG Coakley’s Environmental Protection Division.

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