U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, made the following statement regarding the case before the Supreme Court of the U.S. involving the regulatory overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, which may determine how far the Administration can go when regulating greenhouse gases and may clarify the extent of the Agency's authority under the Clean Air Act.
"This case marks an extremely critical point in clarifying just how far the Obama Administration can extend their regulatory overreach, including by rewriting the Clean Air Act to suit its needs," Vitter said. "This Administration has led a far-left agenda driven crusade to circumvent Congress at every opportunity, and this case could permit an unprecedented power grab by expanding how far it can go to regulate greenhouse gases. Legislative attempts like "cap and trade' have failed because the American public knows these regulations could strangle our economy, and the implications of this case could cripple the democratic process."
The case will determine whether EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources, including power plants. Instead of going through the legislative process, EPA rewrote the Clean Air Act so as to avoid the controversial result of capturing millions of schools, hospitals, and homes under its greenhouse gas regulations. As Congress never intended the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, the statutory requirements outlined for other pollutants do not work for those emissions. The Clean Air Act defines and demands certain standards for air pollutants. The Supreme Court must determine whether and the extent to which the Administration is permitted to substitute its goals in place of what Congress intended.