Statement From A.G. Schneiderman On Oral Argument In Climate Change Case Before The U.S. Supreme Court

Schneiderman: Supreme Court Should Uphold EPA’s Regulations To Achieve Cost-Effective Reductions In The Emission Of Climate Change Pollution

NEW YORK - The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument today in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, a case that concerns the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and states’ authority to regulate climate change pollution from new or modified stationary sources, such as power plants, under the federal Clean Air Act. The following statement can be attributed to Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman regarding today’s argument: 

“The economic and environmental dangers posed by runaway climate change pollution are increasingly apparent in New York and across our nation. Since 2011, EPA regulations have allowed states to achieve cost-effective reductions in the emission of climate change pollution from major stationary sources, just as they have done for many years for other air pollutants. These regulations are vital to implementation of common-sense solutions to climate change, at the state and federal levels, and I urge the Supreme Court to uphold them.” 

Attorney General Schneiderman led a coalition of 15 States and New York City in filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case. The brief argued that EPA’s finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare and its subsequent regulation of those pollutants from motor vehicles triggered the requirement for major stationary sources to obtain permits to limit their emission of greenhouse gases.  New York’s brief also explains how EPA’s regulations phasing in regulation of climate change pollution from large stationary sources such as power plants provides states with the necessary authority to achieve cost-effective reductions in the emission of climate change pollution from these sources.  In addition to New York, the states joining in the filing were California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the City of New York. 

The stationary sources at issue in this case are new plants, including power plants, refineries and cement kilns, and plants undergoing major modification. 

If the Supreme Court sides with the petitioners seeking to bar the EPA regulations, it could hamper the ability of EPA and states to limit climate change pollution (and other air pollution) from stationary sources under the federal Clean Air Act. 

For further background on this issue see this prior press release.

A copy of the Attorney General’s brief filed in the case of UARG v. EPA can be read here.

This matter is being handled by Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, Deputy Solicitor General Steven C. Wu, and Assistant Solicitor General Bethany A. Davis Noll. From the Attorney General's Environmental Protection Bureau, led by Bureau Chief Lemuel M. Srolovic and Deputy Bureau Chief Monica Wagner, Assistant Attorneys General Michael Myers and Morgan Costello are working on this matter.

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