As Michael Cooke noted in his post the following day, on June 3 EPA proposed its “Clean Power Plan” that EPA estimates would, if adopted and implemented, cut greenhouse gas emissions from existing electricity generating units by 30% from 2005 levels. 79 Fed. Reg. 34,829 (June 18, 2014). A few weeks later, as Mike again noted, the Supreme Court decided that EPA could impose technology-based GHG emission controls on new or modified emission sources, provided that the trigger for new source review came from new emissions of some other pollutant. Utility Air Regulatory Group v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 82 U.S.L.W. 4535 (U.S. June 23, 2014).
The uncertainty and upheaval in greenhouse gas regulation has caused some to focus on the opportunities to advocate for more favorable rulemaking or to litigate the regulators’ authority to impose obligations at all. However, if you think about it, any pervasive GHG regulation has to create winners and losers. Some businesses are going to be able to capitalize on these changes. Lawyers should not forget the unglamorous and apolitical role of advising clients on how to do as well as possible under the new rules. That is the subject of my column this month in Pennsylvania Law Weekly. Read Carbon Emissions, the Supreme Court, and Business Opportunity, 37 Pa. L. Weekly 650 (July 15, 2014), by clicking here.