The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania recently denied a petition seeking declaratory and mandamus relief to require the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and a group of executive government officials to regulate greenhouse gases consistent with Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Funk v. Wolf, No. 467 M.D. 2015 (Pa. Commw. Ct. July 26, 2016). In 2013, the plurality opinion in Robinson Twp., Washington Cnty. v. Pa. Pub. Util. Comm’n, 83 A.3d 901 (Pa. 2013), created uncertainty as to how state government actors were expected to apply Article I, Section 27, commonly referred to as the Environmental Rights Amendment.
The Commonwealth Court doubled-down on a finding that the Court is not bound by the plurality opinion in Robinson Township regarding judicial review of government decisions that implicate the Environmental Rights Amendment. The Court returned to the traditional three-prong test.
Read more in my Legal Intelligencer/Pennsylvania Law Weekly column here.