EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. Envtl. Prot. Agency, No. 11-1302

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
Writing for the CourtKAVANAUGH
PartiesEME HOMER CITY GENERATION, L.P., PETITIONER v. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, ET AL., RESPONDENTS SAN MIGUEL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, ET AL., INTERVENORS
Docket NumberNo. 11-1302
Decision Date21 August 2012

EME HOMER CITY GENERATION, L.P., PETITIONER
v.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, ET AL., RESPONDENTS
SAN MIGUEL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, ET AL., INTERVENORS

No. 11-1302

United States Court of Appeals FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT

Argued April 13, 2012
Decided August 21, 2012


Consolidated with 11-1315, 11-1323, 11-1329, 11-1338,
11-1340, 11-1350, 11-1357, 11-1358, 11-1359, 11-1360,
11-1361, 11-1362, 11-1363, 11-1364, 11-1365, 11-1366,
11-1367, 11-1368, 11-1369, 11-1371, 11-1372, 11-1373,
11-1374, 11-1375, 11-1376, 11-1377, 11-1378, 11-1379,
11-1380, 11-1381, 11-1382, 11-1383, 11-1384, 11-1385,
11-1386, 11-1387, 11-1388, 11-1389, 11-1390, 11-1391,
11-1392, 11-1393, 11-1394, 11-1395

On Petitions for Review of a Final Rule
of the Environmental Protection Agency

Page 2

Bill Davis, Assistant Solicitor General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Texas, argued the cause for Governmental Petitioners. With him on the briefs were Greg Abbott, Attorney General, Jonathan F. Mitchell, Solicitor General, Jon Niermann, Chief, Environmental Protection Division, Luther J. Strange, III, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Alabama, Leslie Sue Ritts, Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Florida, Jonathan A. Glogau, Chief, Complex Litigation, Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Georgia, John E. Hennelly and Diane L. DeShazo, Senior Assistant Attorneys General, Thomas M. Fisher, Solicitor General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Indiana, Valerie Marie Tachtiris, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Jeffrey A. Chanay, Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Kansas, Henry V. Nickel, George P. Sibley, III, James D. "Buddy" Caldwell, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Louisiana, Megan K. Terrell, Chief, Environmental Section, Herman Robinson, Jackie Marie Scott Marve, Deidra L. Johnson, Kathy M. Wright, Donald James Trahan, David Richard Taggart, Jeffrey Winston Price, John Joseph Bursch, Solicitor General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Michigan, Neil David Gordon, Assistant Attorney General, Sean Peter Manning, Chief, Environmental, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Division, Harold Edward Pizzetta, III, Special Attorney, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Mississippi, Jon Cumberland Bruning, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Nebraska, Katherine J. Spohn, Special Counsel, Dale T. Vitale, Gregg H. Bachmann, and Chris Kim, Assistant Attorneys General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Ohio, Thomas Bates, Chief, Public Protection Unit, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma,

Page 3

Patrick Wyrick, Solicitor General, P. Clayton Eubanks, Assistant Attorney General, Alan Wilson, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of South Carolina, James Emory Smith, Jr., Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia, E. Duncan Getchell, Jr., Solicitor General, and Thomas James Dawson, Assistant Attorney General, Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Peter D. Keisler argued the cause for Non-Governmental Petitioners. With him on the briefs were Roger R. Martella, Jr., C. Frederick Beckner III, Timothy K. Webster, F. William Brownell, Gregory G. Garre, Claudia M. O'Brien, Lori Alvino McGill, Jessica E. Phillips, Katherine I. Twomey, Stacey VanBelleghem, Janet J. Henry, Steven G. McKinney, Terese T. Wyly, William M. Bumpers, Joshua B. Frank, Megan H. Berge, P. Stephen Gidiere, III, Richard Alonso, Jeffrey R. Holmstead, Gary C. Rikard, Robert J. Alessi, Chuck D'Wayne Barlow, Peter P. Garam, Kyra Marie Fleming, Richard G. Stoll, Brian H. Potts, Julia L. German, Robert A. Manning, Joseph A. Brown, Mohammad O. Jazil, Eric J. Murdock, Andrea Bear Field, Norman W. Fichthorn, E. Carter Chandler Clements, James S. Alves, Gary V. Perko, William L. Wehrum, Jr., David M. Flannery, Gale Lea Rubrecht, Maureen N. Harbourt, Tokesha M. Collins, Bart E. Cassidy, Katherine L. Vaccaro, Diana A. Silva, William F. Lane, Jordan Hemaidan, Todd Palmer, Douglas E. Cloud, David Meezan, Christopher Max Zygmont, Matthew J. Splitek, Gary M. Broadbent, Michael O. McKown, Terry Russell Yellig, Dennis Lane, Karl R Moor, Margaret Claiborne Campbell, Byron W. Kirkpatrick, Hahnah Williams, Peter S. Glaser, Tameka M. Collier, Grant F. Crandall, Arthur Traynor, III, Eugene M. Trisko, Jeffrey L.

Page 4

Landsman, Vincent M. Mele, Elizabeth P. Papez, John M. Holloway III, Elizabeth C. Williamson, and Ann M. Seha.

Michael J. Nasi, Shannon L. Goessling, and Douglas A. Henderson were on the brief for intervenor San Miguel Electric Cooperative and amici Industrial Energy Consumers of America, et al., in support of petitioners. Robert M. Cohan entered an appearance.

Norman L. Rave, Jr., David S. Gualtieri, and Jon M. Lipshultz, Attorneys, U.S. Department of Justice, argued the causes for respondent. With them on the briefs were Jessica O'Donnelly Sonja Rodman, and Stephanie Hogan, Attorneys.

Simon Heller, Assistant Solicitor General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of New York, argued the cause for State/City Respondent-Intervenors. With him on the brief were Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General, Barbara D. Underwood, Solicitor General, Andrew G. Frank and Michael J. Myers, Assistant Attorneys General, Benna R. Solomon, James B. Dougherty, Joseph R. Biden, III, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Delaware, Valerie M. Satterfield, Deputy Attorney General, Douglas F. Gansler, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Maryland, Mary E. Raivel, Assistant Attorney General, Peter F. Kilmartin, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Rhode Island, Gregory S. Schultz, Special Assistant Attorney General, Martha Coakley, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Frederick D. Augenstern, Assistant Attorney General, Scott J. Schwarz, William H. Sorrell, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Vermont, Thea J. Schwartz, Assistant Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Illinois, Gerald T. Karr,

Page 5

Assistant Attorney General, Irvin B. Nathan, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Amy E. McDonnell, Deputy General Counsel, George Jepsen, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Connecticut, Kimberly P. Massicotte, Scott N. Koschwitz, and Matthew I. Levine, Assistant Attorneys General, William R. Phelan, Jr., Roy Cooper, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of North Carolina, James C. Gulick, Senior Deputy Attorney General, Marc Bernstein and J. Allen Jernigan, Special Deputies Attorney General, and Christopher King. William J. Moore, III entered an appearance.

Brendan K. Collins argued the cause for Industry Respondent-Intervenors. With him on the brief were Robert B. McKinstry, Jr. and James W. Rubin.

Sean H. Donahue argued the cause for Public Health Respondent-Intervenors. With him on the brief were David T. Lifland, Vickie L. Patton, George Hays, Josh Stebbins, John Walke, and David Marshall. Ann Brewster Weeks entered an appearance.

Before: ROGERS, GRIFFITH, and KAVANAUGH, Circuit Judges.

Opinion for the Court filed by Circuit Judge KAVANAUGH, with whom Circuit Judge GRIFFITH joins.

Dissenting opinion filed by Circuit Judge ROGERS.

KAVANAUGH, Circuit Judge: Some emissions of air pollutants affect air quality in the States where the pollutants are emitted. Some emissions of air pollutants travel across State boundaries and affect air quality in downwind States.

Page 6

To deal with that complex regulatory challenge, Congress did not authorize EPA to simply adopt limits on emissions as EPA deemed reasonable. Rather, Congress set up a federalism-based system of air pollution control. Under this cooperative federalism approach, both the Federal Government and the States play significant roles. The Federal Government sets air quality standards for pollutants. The States have the primary responsibility for determining how to meet those standards and regulating sources within their borders.

In addition, and of primary relevance here, upwind States must prevent sources within their borders from emitting federally determined "amounts" of pollution that travel across State lines and "contribute significantly" to a downwind State's "nonattainment" of federal air quality standards. That requirement is sometimes called the "good neighbor" provision.

In August 2011, to implement the statutory good neighbor requirement, EPA promulgated the rule at issue in this case, the Transport Rule, also known as the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. The Transport Rule defines emissions reduction responsibilities for 28 upwind States based on those States' contributions to downwind States' air quality problems. The Rule limits emissions from upwind States' coal- and natural gas-fired power plants, among other sources. Those power plants generate the majority of electricity used in the united States, but they also emit...

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