Will the EPA Be Able to Tackle 'Big' Problems Following 'West Virginia' Decision?
Much has been said about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia v. EPA, 142 S.Ct. 2587 (2022), since it came out the earlier this year. In overly simple terms, this case was the effective tie-breaker in a years-long battle between the Obama and Trump administrations’ respective plans for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electric generating facilities. Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) sought to reduce GHG emissions by requiring actions not only at affected facilities but also more broadly across the power sector, by forcing a generation shift away from coal-fired plants. The latter category of reductions are commonly referred to as "beyond the fence line." Trump's Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, by comparison, who have stopped short of requiring any emissions reductions that could not be achieved at the facility level.