In a much-watched case, on June 9, 2015, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion denying the petition of Murray Energy for an extraordinary writ that would have stopped EPA from promulgating its Carbon Pollution Standards.  Murray Energy had based its petition on two sections of the Clean Air Act, Sections 111(d) and Section 112.  Murray Energy argued that EPA was prohibited from regulating greenhouse gas pollution from power plants under Section 111(d) because EPA was already regulating other kinds of pollutants from those plants under Section 112.  Because the rule is still a proposal, the Court held, as many expected, that the action was premature.  The Administrative Procedure Act and the Clean Air Act prohibit judicial challenges until a rulemaking is final.  EPA had argued that it could change the basis for the rulemaking based on comments received and that the Court should not pre-judge the issue.  The Court agreed that no grounds existed to “circumvent bedrock finality principles.”
Continue Reading Murray Energy Decision Requires the Energy World to Wait

Murray Energy Corp. Suit Allowed to Proceed

Upon publication of the proposed “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Generating Units” (also referred to as the Proposal or Clean Power Plan), on June 18, 2014, Murray Energy Corp. filed a petition for writ of extraordinary relief, alleging that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) does not have the legal authority under the Clean Air Act to finalize performance standards for existing sources under Section 111(d).  Murray Energy Corporation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-1112 (D.C. Cir. filed June 18, 2014).  A week later, on June 25, 2014, a group of nine states filed an amici curiae brief, urging the D.C. Circuit to grant Murray Energy’s petition for writ, prohibiting USEPA to continue with its rulemaking.
Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Orders USEPA to Respond to Petition to Stop Carbon Rulemaking