US Supreme Court Limits EPA’s Authority to Regulate Carbon Emissions from Existing Power Plants Under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act Under Major Questions Doctrine with Implications for Agency Rulemaking Generally

    View Author July 2022

    On June 30, 2022, the US Supreme Court held that the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP) “[c]apping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that [would] force” energy generation shifting from coal to natural gas to renewables nationwide was not within the statutory authority that Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), codified as 42 U.S.C. § 7411(d), granted to EPA. West Virginia v. Env’t Prot. Agency, 597 U. S. ____, 2022 U.S. LEXIS 3268, at *54 (2022). Applying the major questions doctrine, the court held that Congress must be express in granting EPA the authority to adopt the kind of transformational regulatory scheme that EPA tried to implement under Section 111(d).