Util. Air Regulatory Grp. v. Envtl. Prot. Agency, Nos. 12–1146

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Citation189 L.Ed.2d 372,134 S.Ct. 2427,573 U.S. 302
Decision Date23 June 2014
Parties UTILITY AIR REGULATORY GROUP, Petitioner v. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, et al. American Chemistry Council, et al., Petitioners v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al. Energy–Intensive Manufacturers Working Group on Greenhouse Gas Regulation, et al., Petitioners v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al. Southeastern Legal Foundation, Inc., et al., Petitioners v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al. Texas, et al., Petitioners v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al. Chamber of Commerce of the United States, et al., Petitioners v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al.
Docket Number12–1268,Nos. 12–1146,12–1248,12–1272.,12–1269,12–1254

573 U.S. 302
134 S.Ct.
2427
189 L.Ed.2d 372

UTILITY AIR REGULATORY GROUP, Petitioner
v.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, et al.

American Chemistry Council, et al., Petitioners
v.
Environmental Protection Agency, et al.

Energy–Intensive Manufacturers Working Group on Greenhouse Gas Regulation, et al., Petitioners
v.
Environmental Protection Agency, et al.

Southeastern Legal Foundation, Inc., et al., Petitioners
v.
Environmental Protection Agency, et al.

Texas, et al., Petitioners
v.
Environmental Protection Agency, et al.

Chamber of Commerce of the United States, et al., Petitioners
v.
Environmental Protection Agency, et al.

Nos. 12–1146
12–1248
12–1254
12–1268
12–1269
12–1272.

Supreme Court of the United States

Argued Feb. 24, 2014.
Decided June 23, 2014.


Robert R. Gasaway, Counsel of Record, Jeffrey A. Rosen, P.C., Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Washington, DC, Lily Fu Claffee, Rachel L. Brand, Sheldon Gilbert, National Chamber Litigation Center, Inc., Washington,

134 S.Ct. 2433

DC, for Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America.

John J. McMackin, Jr., Counsel of Record, Williams & Jensen, PLLC, Washington, DC, Ronald Tenpas, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Washington, DC, for Energy–Intensive Manufacturers Working Group on Greenhouse Gas Regulation and the Glass Packaging Institute.

Peter D. Keisler, Counsel of Record, Roger R. Martella, Jr., Sidley Austin LLP, Washington DC, for American Chemistry Council, et al.

Shannon Lee Goessling, Counsel of Record, Southeastern Legal Foundation, Inc., Marietta, GA, Edward A. Kazmarek, Kazmarek Mowrey Cloud Laseter LLP, Atlanta, GA, Harry W. MacDougald, Caldwell & Watson LLP, Atlanta, GA, Steven G. Bradbury, Dechert LLP, Washington, DC, for Southeastern Legal Foundation, Inc.

Michael C. Geraghty, Attorney General, Steven E. Mulder, State of Alaska, Anchorage, AK, for State of Alaska.

Ellen Steen, Danielle Quist, American Farm Bureau Federation, Washington, DC, Douglas A. Henderson, Troutman Sanders LLP, Atlanta, GA, for American Farm Bureau Federation.

Sam Kazman, Hans Bader, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Inc., Washington, DC, for Competitive Enterprise Institute, Inc.

F. William Brownell, Counsel of Record, Norman W. Fichthorn, Henry V. Nickel, Allison D. Wood, Hunton & Williams LLP, Washington, DC, for Petitioner Utility Air Regulatory Group.

Greg Abbott, Attorney General of Texas, Daniel T. Hodge, First Assistant Attorney General, J. Reed Clay, Jr., Senior Counsel to the Attorney General, Jonathan F. Mitchell, Solicitor General, Counsel of Record, Andrew S. Oldham, Deputy Solicitor General, Michael P. Murphy, Douglas D. Geyser, Assistant Solicitors General, Office of the Attorney General, Austin, TX, Luther Strange, Attorney General of Alabama, Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General of Florida, Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General of Georgia, Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana, James D. "Buddy" Caldwell, Attorney General of Louisiana, Bill Schuette, Attorney General of Michigan, Jon Bruning, Attorney General of Nebraska, Wayne Stenehjem, Attorney General of North Dakota, E. Scott Pruitt, Attorney General of Oklahoma, Alan Wilson, Attorney General of South Carolina, Marty J. Jackley, Attorney General of South Dakota, Herman Robinson, Executive Counsel of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, for the State Petitioners.

John P. Elwood, Jeremy C. Marwell, Vinson & Elkins LLP, Washington, DC, Paul D. Phillips, Holland & Hart LLP, Denver, CO, Eric Groten, Counsel of Record, Vinson & Elkins LLP, Austin, TX, Patrick R. Day, P.C., Holland & Hart LLP, Cheyenne, WY, John A. Bryson, Holland & Hart, LLP, Washington, DC, James A. Holtkamp, Holland & Hart LLP, Salt Lake City, UT, for Petitioners.

Avi S. Garbow, General Counsel, Lorie J. Schmidt, Associate General Counsel, Brian Doster, James Havard, Howard J. Hoffman, David Orlin, Elliott Zenick, Attorneys, Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., Solicitor General, Counsel of Record, Robert G. Dreher, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Malcolm L. Stewart, Deputy Solicitor General, Benjamin J. Horwich, Assistant to the Solicitor General, Amanda Shafer Berman, Perry Rosen, Attorneys, Department of Justice, Washington, DC, for Federal Respondents.

David D. Doniger, Gerald Goldman, Benjamin H. Longstreth, Natural Resources

134 S.Ct. 2434

Defense Council, Washington, DC, Howard I. Fox, David S. Baron, Earthjustice, Washington, DC, for Environmental Defense Fund.

Sean H. Donahue, Counsel of Record, David T. Goldberg, Donahue & Goldberg, LLP, Washington, DC, Pamela A. Campos, Tomás Carbonell, Megan Ceronsky, Graham Mccahan, Vickie L. Patton, Peter Zalzal, Environmental Defense Fund, Boulder, CO, for Environmental Organization Respondents.

Ann Brewster Weeks, James P. Duffy, Clean Air Task Force, Boston, MA, for Conservation Law Foundation, Inc., Indiana Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Council of Maine, Ohio Environmental Council, and Michigan Environmental Council.

Frank W. Rambo, Morgan Butler, Southern Environmental Law Center, Charlottesville, VA, for Georgia ForrestWatch, Wetlands Watch, and Wild Virginia.

Joanne Spalding, Nathan Matthews, San Francisco, CA, for Sierra Club.

James G. Murphy, National Wildlife Federation, Montpelier, VT, for Respondents.

Monica Wagner, Deputy Bureau Chief, Michael J. Myers, Morgan A. Costello, Assistant Attorneys General, Environmental Protection Bureau, Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General of New York, Barbara D. Underwood, Solicitor General, Steven C. Wu, Deputy Solicitor General, Bethany A. Davis Noll, Assistant Solicitor General, New York, NY, Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, State of California, San Francisco, CA, George Jepsen, Attorney General, Hartford, CT, Joseph R. Biden, III, Attorney General, Wilmington, DE, Lisa Madigan, Attorney General, State of Illinois, Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Des Moines, IA, Janet T. Mills, Attorney General, State of Maine, Augusta, ME, Douglas F. Gansler, Attorney General, State of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, Martha Coakley, Attorney General, State of Massachusetts, Boston, MA, Joseph A. Foster, Attorney General, State of New Hampshire, Concord, NH, Gary King, Attorney General, State of New Mexico, Santa Fe, Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, State of Oregon, Salem, OR, Peter F. Kilmartin, Attorney General, Providence, RI, William H. Sorrell, Attorney General, State of Vermont, Montpelier, VT, Robert W. Ferguson, Attorney General, Jeffrey D. Friedlander, for Respondents.

Justice SCALIA announced the judgment of the Court and delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I and II.

573 U.S. 307

Acting pursuant to the Clean Air Act, 69 Stat. 322, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 7401 – 7671q, the Environmental Protection Agency recently set standards for emissions of "greenhouse gases" (substances it believes contribute to "global climate change") from new motor vehicles. We must decide whether it was permissible for EPA to determine that its motor-vehicle greenhouse-gas regulations automatically triggered permitting requirements under the Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases.

573 U.S. 308
134 S.Ct. 2435

I. Background

A. Stationary–Source Permitting

The Clean Air Act regulates pollution-generating emissions from both stationary sources, such as factories and powerplants, and moving sources, such as cars, trucks, and aircraft. This litigation concerns permitting obligations imposed on stationary sources under Titles I and V of the Act.

Title I charges EPA with formulating national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for air pollutants. §§ 7408–7409. To date, EPA has issued NAAQS for six pollutants: sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, and lead. Clean Air Act Handbook 125 (J. Domike & A. Zacaroli eds., 3d ed. 2011); see generally 40 C.F.R. pt. 50 (2013). States have primary responsibility for implementing the NAAQS by developing "State implementation plans." 42 U.S.C. § 7410. A State must designate every area within its borders as "attainment," "nonattainment," or "unclassifiable" with respect to each NAAQS, § 7407(d), and the State's implementation plan must include permitting programs for stationary sources that vary according to the classification of the area where the source is or is proposed to be located. § 7410(a)(2)(C), (I).

Stationary sources in areas designated attainment or unclassifiable are subject to the Act's provisions relating to "Prevention of Significant Deterioration" (PSD). §§ 7470–7492. EPA interprets the PSD provisions to apply to sources located in areas that are designated attainment or unclassifiable for any NAAQS pollutant, regardless of whether the source emits that specific pollutant. Since the inception of the PSD program, every area of the country has been designated attainment or unclassifiable for at least one NAAQS pollutant; thus, on EPA's view, all stationary sources are potentially subject to PSD review.

It is unlawful to construct or modify a "major emitting facility" in "any area to which [the PSD program] applies"

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    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • April 12, 2019
    ...Michigan v. EPA, 135 S. Ct. at 2706, and "stay[ ] within the bounds of its statutory authority." Utility Air Reg. Grp. v. EPA, 573 U.S. 302, 315 (2014) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). The regulations challenged in this case fall short of those judicially-enforceable limits......
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    • December 7, 2018
    ...agency may not rewrite clear statutory terms to suit its own sense of how the statute should operate." Util. Air Regulatory Grp. v. EPA, 573 U.S. 302, 134 S. Ct. 2427, 2446, 189 L.Ed.2d 372 (2014). Where "Congress itself has significantly limited executive discretion by establishing a detai......
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    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • May 8, 2020
    ...the "results from" language is used further indicates that only but-for causation is required. See Util. Air Regulatory Grp. v. EPA , 573 U.S. 302, 321, 134 S.Ct. 2427, 189 L.Ed.2d 372 (2014) ("[R]easonable statutory interpretation must account for both the specific context in which ... lan......
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    ...and political significance’ that is central to [a] statutory scheme," id. (quoting Util. Air. Regulatory Grp. v. EPA, ––– U.S. ––––, 134 S.Ct. 2427, 2444, 189 L.Ed.2d 372 (2014) ), courts may set aside Chevron deference and instead look directly to the statutory text, examined in light of i......
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