On Tuesday, October 15, 2013, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear challenges to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) authority to regulate greenhouse gases emitted from stationary sources.  A total of nine petitions for certiorari had been filed with the Court challenging various regulatory actions taken by USEPA with respect to greenhouse gases.  The Court consolidated and granted certiorari in six of the nine petitions.

Rather than adopt language from the issues presented by the petitioners, the Court provided its own language limiting the question it will review to the following:  “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 that emit greenhouse gases.”

The Court denied review of other challenges to USEPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases, including to USEPA’s finding that greenhouse gases present a public danger and should be regulated under the Clean Air Act and to USEPA’s May 2010 regulations establishing greenhouse gas emission standards for motor vehicles.

Under the Supreme Court’s general timing rules, petitioners’ briefs will be due 45 days after the date the Court granted writ of certiorari.  Respondent’s response briefs will be due 30 days after petitioners’ briefs are submitted.  The Court has allotted one hour for oral argument in this matter.  Oral arguments are expected to take place in early 2014 and the Court is expected to rule in summer 2014.