Challenging the Imperial EPA on Greenhouse Gas Regulation

The National Association of Manufacturers and 19 other business groups filed a petition in federal appeals court Tuesday challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s latest interpretation of the “Johnson Memo,” in which the agency declared its plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from industrial and other stationary sources. The EPA intends to impose its mandates by Jan. 2, 2011.

As NAM President John Engler said in the news release:

Today’s challenge is yet another step we are taking to stop EPA from its overreach in regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. We believe this issue deserves transparency and debate that should be handled by Congress, not by a bureaucratic agency that has no accountability to the American people.

EPA’s power grab creates uncertainty and adds costly new burdens on manufacturers while further complicating a permitting process the EPA and state environmental enforcement agencies are not equipped to handle. Further, these actions will stifle job creation and harm our competiveness in a global economy by adding compliance, administrative and legal costs.

The trade association petition filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is available here. The NAM’s Manufacturing Law Center has additional background and filings.

Others filing their own litigation include the American Iron and Steel Institute and Gerdau Amersteel Corp., Inc.  From E&E News:

Kevin Dempsey, the American Iron and Steel Institute’s senior vice president of public policy and general counsel, said the latest lawsuit is a continuation of his group’s opposition to EPA’s plans to regulate industrial facilities’ greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

“We think that is the wrong approach and that it’s not justified,” Dempsey said. “We expect to be challenging each step in that chain of legal measures.”

Dempsey said EPA climate regulations will create incentives to shift steel production overseas to countries where environmental regulations are less stringent.

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