Groups challenge EPA's greenhouse gas regulations

Published online: Apr 22, 2013
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A coalition* of industry and agricultural groups have filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's regulation of greenhouse gasses.

The president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, Jay Timmons says they are asking the high court to clear up "significant legal issues" with EPA's authority.

Last June a three-judge panel from the Federal Appeals Court in Washington D.C. upheld the EPA's greenhouse gas regulations on tailpipes, factories and power plants.

Timmons says "The broad scope of these burdensome regulations could eventually force new permitting requirements for more than 6 million stationary sources, including 200,000 manufacturing facilities, 37,000 farms and millions of other sources, such as universities, schools and hospitals impacting every aspect of our economy."

Meanwhile the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and The Coalition for Responsible Regulation have filed a petition with the Supreme Court challenging EPA's 2009 finding "that greenhouse gasses endanger public health and welfare." That determination was the foundation for EPA regulating greenhouse gasses under the Clean Air Act. NCBA's petition contends it was not Congress' intent that EPA use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gasses and asks the court to "put a stop to EPA's above-the-law actions".

Earlier this week the EPA published a report saying overall greenhouse gas emissions increased 8 percent from 1990 to 2011. The generation of electricity was the greatest source creating 33 percent of emissions, more than two-thirds of that came from coal-burning plants. Transportation contributed 28 percent of all gasses, industry created 20 percent, commercial and residential heat and cooking released 11 percent of the gasses and 8 percent comes from agriculture. A third of agriculture's contribution was methane from livestock. On the other hand, land, forests and harvested wood sequestered 14 percent of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during the period.

*The members of the coalition include the American Chemistry Council; American Frozen Food Institute; American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers; American Iron and Steel Institute; American Petroleum Institute; Brick Industry Association; Clean Air Implementation Project; Corn Refiners Association; Glass Association of North America; Independent Petroleum Association of America; Indiana Cast Metals Association; Michigan Manufacturers Association; Mississippi Manufacturers Association; National Association of Home Builders; National Association of Manufacturers; National Federation of Independent Business; National Oilseed Processors Association; North American Die Casting Association; Portland Cement Association; Specialty Steel Industry of North America; Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Western States Petroleum Association; West Virginia Manufacturers Association; and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.